Commentary

Welch Joins SpotXchange, Both Bullish On European Market

Digital video ad marketplace SpotXchange today announced that Nick Welch has been appointed Director of Publisher Development, UK, a newly created position. The addition of Welch comes just weeks after the company hired Ana Garcia and Sophie Davidas as business development director in Spain and France, respectively.

Welch was involved with programmatic advertising as head of Orange Ad Market in the UK for France Telecom. Andrew Moore, SpotXchange's European Managing Director, said in the statement, "There is a real shift in the market from manual transactions to programmatic media buying," and the appointment of Welch is meant "to get more publishers on board as the programmatic revolution continues in digital video advertising."

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I spoke with Welch about his new role and asked him some questions about the European marketplace in general. SpotXchange isn't the only company that's bullish on overseas markets, but with their three most recent hires, they certainly seem to be acting on the potential everyone is talking about. In light of the company's other recent hires across Europe, it was obvious to me after my conversation with Welch that this is a great fit.

Welch has been involved with programmatic in the UK since 2010, and he told me that the number of people that have been involved with programmatic in the UK from the beginning could be written "on the back of a cigarette packet." Essentially, Welch is one of the few guys that has been banking on the overseas potential from the beginning, and SpotXchange is one of the ad tech companies currently investing in it.

I asked Welch to give a sense of the company's current publisher portfolio -- his new role is to "develop strategic relationships with publishers across the UK" -- but he wasn't able to divulge much information. "What I can tell you," he said, "is that…with the contacts that I have in the UK, and given [SpotXchange's position in the market], we are very excited about Q4." He added that their Q4 might give their competitors something to think about.

I wrote in RTBlog near the start of the summer that a global expansion of real-time bidding (RTB) will provide a spark for competition. If Welch's comment about giving his competition something to think about is any indication, the global expansion of programmatic that has continued through the summer really has provided a spark for competition.

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