For Patch.com publishers looking to open up inventory to programmatic buyers, “X” marks the spot.
Patch.com on Thursday partnered with OpenX, a supply-side platform (SSP) for programmatic trading. Patch will use OpenX as its first-look provider for ad serving and monetization across its 900-plus sites, per a release.
“People believe that local is difficult to scale,” stated Charles Hale, founder of Hale Global and CEO of Patch Media. “Programmatic has changed our perspective on revenue scalability.”
Patch is a local news and community platform that claims to reach over 17.4 million unique visitors.
Local buyers and sellers are getting involved with programmatic technologies, though they are not being as aggressive as they could. However, the future of local programmatic media is bright, according to recent findings from Borrell Research, and some ad tech firms such as Rubicon Project and Centro have been rolling out offerings specifically geared for local marketers.
With that in mind, it's no surprise to see Patch turn to programmatic. In fact, ever since AOL sold Patch to Hale Global last year, Patch's foray into automated ad offerings was discussed; it was always part of Hale Global's Patch turnaround plan.
Now the industry waits to see if programmatic can help Patch jumpstart revenue. According to Hale, it's off to a good start. He claimed in a release that through initial tests with OpenX, CPMs were 25% higher than expected and fill rates were 85% higher, “resulting in a significant revenue increase.”