Conde Nast Wants In On Programmatic Native, Launches Private Marketplace

Programmatic and native have been converging, and Condé Nast wants in on the action.

Condé Nast’s Food Innovation Group, comprised of Bon Appétit, Epicurious and a network of around 80 partner sites, on Tuesday announced it has tapped TripleLift, a native programmatic ad platform, to create a private marketplace for native advertising.

Craig Kostelic, head of digital sales for Bon Appétit and Epicurious, told Real-Time Daily that it will be the Food Innovation Group’s first foray into programmatic native advertising. The group has been selling display inventory programmatically (via Google AdX) and native advertising on a direct basis, but wanted to combined programmatic and native to “afford media partners to buy the way they ultimately want to buy.”



Kostelic said he expects the private marketplace to be a “small piece” of the overall native advertising spend the group sees today, but believes it will “ramp up” significantly over the next 6-18 months.

“When it does take off, [we are preparing] to be the best in class,” he asserted. “Our goal of the programmatic offering is not to be monetizing unsold inventory for a cheaper price. We are just affording our agency and client partners to buy directly or programmatically.” 

Bon Appétit and Epicurious remain separate entities from the editorial point of view, but both monetize via the Food Innovation Group. The programmatic native exchange will house image-based, in-feed native ad units, per Kostelic. Video could be added to the mix as soon as this summer.

The move is representative of the ad industry’s adoption of programmatic and native, both individually and combined. However, Kostelic’s stance that the new private exchange will be small at first is a reminder that the programmatic native ad market isn’t quite “there” yet -- at least compared to the size and scale of the display, mobile or video industries.

Programmatic native is clearly poised for rapid growth, however. With major publishers such as Condé Nast and Forbes entering the fray, among others, it’s not hard to envision others following suit.

Additionally, serving as a sign of maturation in programmatic native, the IAB released its specifications for native RTB last month, creating standards that had yet to exist in the space.

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