On the heels of its proposed merger with Donovan Data Systems, tech-savvy media-buying data processor MediaBank is getting into the agency trading desk business. The new system, which MediaBank executives dub a “white-label solution,” because it can be tailored to the needs of specific agencies and their clients, is designed to simplify the increasingly complex marketplace that has emerged around real-time bidding of online advertising inventory.
The main advantage of the new system is that it seamlessly integrates into the same software and data-processing systems that agencies already used to manage their media planning, buying and paying workflow, reducing much of the labor and potential discrepancies that can occur when agencies work with outside systems, especially the litany of so-called demand-side platforms ) data management platforms that agency trading desks might align and integrate with.
MediaBank built its new trading desk on top of AdBuyer, a DSP it acquired in April 2011, and has quietly been beta testing it with undisclosed agencies before making it available for general release beginning with the New Year.
While most of the big agencies have developed their own in-house trading desks, MediaBank executives say their system is designed to operate as a complement to them, and to service mid-size and smaller agencies that don’t have the resources to invest in the technology necessary to build their own trading desks.
Aside from its ability to seamlessly plug into existing agency workflow systems, the new trading desk can be customized with proprietary algorithms for managing real-time buying across the current RTB marketplace, which MediaBank executives estimate to exceed 20 billion daily impressions.
“Agencies have expressed real frustration over their struggles in differentiating DSP offerings in a marketplace perceived to be both highly commoditized—and, frankly, as hidden behind black boxes,” said John Bauschard, president of MediaBank Marketplaces. “MediaBank’s DNA of partnership-driven agency technology has helped us drive a different kind of product: one that lets each agency using it, and each advertiser it serves, uniquely shine.”
The launch of the new trading desk indicates that MediaBank continues to be focused on developing marketplace solutions even as it awaits regulatory approval for its merger with Donovan into a new consolidated company that would be called MediaOcean. The goal of that company is to develop a new “operating system” that would serve as a “universal platform” that agencies could use to seamlessly plug an array of media technology solutions in and out of – either ones developed in-house or via other third-parties, presumably including MediaOcean.