Groupon Moves To New OpenX Global Publisher Platform

JasonFairchild

OpenX Technologies launched Tuesday a platform for large publishers. Dubbed OpenX Enterprise, it enables publishers to manage all channels that generate revenue in one platform. It supports companies like Groupon in the United States, Orange-France Telecom Group in Europe, and Excite Japan in Japan, among others.

With advancements in technology to buy ad inventory, OpenX felt it was time to develop tools for publishers. Until now, publishers either had a direct ad sales force or sold remnant inventory through third-party companies. Publishers often find revenue management inefficient because they must use a variety of tools to coordinate different demand channels. OpenX Enterprise allows companies to combine the sales all in one platform.

Aside from a combined platform, OpenX Chief Revenue Officer Jason Fairchild says data is also a key concern. "BlueKai's primary customers have been ad networks and buyers of advertising, such as demand-side platforms that buy inventory from publishers," he says, suggesting the exchange model actually gives publishers a way to increase value on their data. "That's great for BlueKai, but all the information they bring to the buy side puts the publishers at a bit of a disadvantage."

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Last year, Groupon found their manual approach to scheduling ads in daily deal emails to consumers had become slow and cumbersome. They turned to OpenX, allowing the company to schedule ad deliveries overnight. Recently, the company adopted the new platform.

Publishers own their own data with OpenX Enterprise, a significant shift in the business model. Advanced platform capacities enable publishers to develop audience segments using their own user data, and integrating it with every ad impression. They also can pull in third-party data for ad targeting, forecasting and reporting because it is stored in the server.

"We think the platform finally lets publishers understand the value of their inventory," Fairchild says. "It's long overdue."

The platform's API framework and object-based design make it simple to integrate with other components of the publisher's enterprise stack, such as financial, business intelligence and CRM systems. A plug-in framework enables publishers to change the platform to reflect their business rather than change their business to conform to a platform.

Monetization functions built into the ad server allows publishers to take advantage of real-time bidding. It is enabled in the ad server, so they control bid revenue from demand-side platform and agency trading desks. Publishers also control reserve pricing, buyer access and qualities.

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