Three digital advertising behemoths -- AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo -- on Tuesday announced an agreement to create a common set of API specifications for digital programmatic premium sales. The three companies will work together with the aim of making it easier to buy and sell premium digital ad space programmatically.
"Microsoft, together with AOL and Yahoo, is committed to the growth of programmatic premium," stated Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president, Microsoft Advertising. "We see this approach as being both 'advertiser friendly' and 'publisher friendly' – something that will address the challenges and inefficiencies that make it hard to scale big brand buys on the Internet."
As van der Kooi noted, the
three companies aren't just looking to help advertisers and agencies with this initiative. They also hope that the collaboration will cause premium publishers to become more comfortable with
programmatically trading their inventory.
Seth Demsey, SVP, global advertising products and strategy at AOL Networks, said in the release that the companies are working to make "the more than 50% of inventory" currently sold manually available for programmatic trading.
Van der Kooi stated, "Ultimately, we believe this will serve as a catalyst to unlock pent-up demand for premium publisher offerings and help speed the migration of offline media spend to online."
Yieldex, an inventory analytics platform for digital publishers, was singled
out as a supporter of the initiative. Tom Shields, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Yieldex, stated that he believes the standards will help premium publishers use programmatic technologies
without shedding their "premium" label.
The API specifications are expected to be available "in the coming months."