Commentary

Real-Time With Google's Scott Spencer On Open Bidder

Google recently announced Open Bidder, which allows advertisers to customize real-time bidding (RTB) technology. In a company blog post, Google spelled out three main challenges companies face when building their own RTB tech, including troubles developing secure infrastructure, bidding logic that can be easily applied, and latency issues. Google hopes the Open Bidder toolkit will help developers remove these "barriers."

But why launch Open Bidder in the first place? What did Google see the need to replace, and how do they anticipate Open Bidder accelerating the space? Scott Spencer, product management director at Google, answered a few questions about Open Bidder for RTM Daily via email.

RTM Daily: Why did Google release Open Bidder?

Scott Spencer: We released Open Bidder to help accelerate the pace of innovation in the advertising industry.

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RTM Daily: Can you define a "bidder" (not the person, but the tech)? What does it actually do, and why is it important?

Spencer: A "bidder" is a system that receives inventory from one or more exchanges in real-time and evaluates that inventory based on a set of provided or derived attributes (e.g., time of day, cookie) to respond back to the exchanges with a bid value and associated advertisement that will be displayed should the buyer win the exchange's auction.

RTM Daily: What exactly does Open Bidder replace? AKA, if a company were to start a RTB campaign and use Open Bidder to create their trading tech, what would they be using Open Bidder instead of? 

Spencer: Buyers who decide to build an application using open bidder, would most likely be replacing an older API integration or replacing...old manual optimization process[es] by building a bidding application. Mostly we see Open Bidder helping developers who have a great idea for an advertising algorithm get started.

RTM Daily: Do companies that use Open Bidder have to use their newly created tech on Google's DoubleClick exchange?

Spencer: No, Open Bidder can be configured to buy on any ad exchange, but it comes out of box with an integration with DoubleClick Ad Exchange.     

RTM Daily: Google seems involved and invested in RTB. Does the company see it is as the future of advertising?

Spencer: This is certainly one of the fastest growing and most exciting buying technologies we've ever seen and we think will be an important part of the buying mix in the future.

RTM Daily: Who can create these bidders? Individuals, organizations, agencies, brands, etc.?  Or is it just DSPs?

Spencer: Anyone can create a bidder. Commonly, bidders are developed by companies that want to buy inventory from ad exchanges at scale using proprietary data or optimization algorithms. 

Separately, many exchanges have rules about who is eligible to buy on their exchange.

RTM Daily: What types of advertisers do you think will utilize Open Bidder most? (Mobile, online, video, etc.) 

Spencer: The display advertising industry is large and growing. We hope that by lowering the barrier to developing a robust real-time bidding application with Open Bidder, more developers will be inspired to create new buying models and bring innovative advertising solutions to the market. 

RTM Daily: What sets this RTB tech apart from others? 

Spencer: Open Bidder is not an out of the box buying application. Instead, it is a toolkit for developers to build a fully customized real-time bidding application. Currently, advertisers who have a unique idea for targeting, pricing, or data analysis that they want to leverage to buy display advertising only have two options, pay someone to build a RTB application for you, or hire a large engineering team and build an application from scratch. The first is expensive, and the second is expensive and has many technical challenges to overcome. Open Bidder provides buyers with another choice. It lowers their upfront development cost and allows advertisers to build a fully customized solution.

RTM Daily: When will this come out of Beta?

Spencer: We don't have additional timing details to share right now.

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