Sell-Side Keeps Pace As Programmatic Buying Methods Multiply

Ad tech providers are continually looking for new ways to ease publishers’ concerns over control in a programmatic environment.

Improve Digital, a supply-side platform (SSP), on Monday announced the launch of its “Pricing Control Centre,” which the company claims gives its publisher partners a slew of new pricing control features.

“As the programmatic market is maturing, we need more controls and transparency on both ends to open up all high-quality audience segments and channels,” stated Elwin Gastelaars, manager of digital trading at RTL Nederland.

One of those additional controls is allowing publishers to change price floors based on who is doing the buying, whether it be agencies, DSPs or the brands themselves.

This appears to be the supply-side’s response to the various ways the buy-side now uses programmatic technologies. Recent reports have shown that trading desk use is on the rise, while using a buying platform on a managed service basis is on the decline. Agencies are used just as much today as they were one year ago to buy ads via programmatic, while marketers have begun using ad tech on their own in a big way. There’s a similar myriad of buying methods in the mobile world, too.



“Ultimately, it is about giving the seller as much control and flexibility as we can,” a company representative said. “For example, if [a client has] a particularly valuable placement that is increasingly selling at a price they deem to be too low to DSPs, there might be some arbitrage going on. With Pricing Control Centre, they can isolate that segment of inventory -- and the particular buyer categories that may in fact have a higher willingness to pay than past bids suggest -- and use those new client-specific bid floors to improve yield overall." 

The Netherlands-based company also claims publishers can now use its audience segments to alter pricing, which again appears to be a response to the buy-side's shift toward audience-buying.

“Increasingly, publishers with distinct, high-value audience segments are becoming more transparent, exposing more placement details and in some cases productizing specific audience segments,” a company representative said. “In doing so, the publisher defines a placement and a user target, passes that segment information along as part of the product description, and allows advertisers the ability to know and bid on the who in addition to the what of the ad inventory on offer.”

"Auction" image from Shutterstock.

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