Black Box Cash Cows On The Verge Of Extinction (Mixed Metaphors Next)

The third-party sound bite that got the biggest ovation during Steve Minichini’s opening keynote at the Programmatic Insider Summit Monday morning was one implying that the days of hefty trading desk margins may be near an end.

The audio sound bite played by Minichini, CEO of AboveNation Media, was from an anonymous client that asserted the “days of black box cash cows” are over.

As a follow question, Minichini, who until recently worked closely with a big agency trading desk (MDC Partners’ Varick Media Management), was asked if the days of those margins over, “are the days of agency trading desks also over?”

In other words, are they so tied to their seminal economic margins, can they make the transition to a more transparent, smaller margin marketplace?



Minichini said, probably, sort of, maybe.

Noting how competitive the marketplace has gotten between clients taking trading in-house, to newer boutiques launching with more transparency, Minichini was nonetheless optimistic that the best ones will.

“It’s a good time in the industry to filter out some of the nonsense that has been happening,” he said, implying the new trading desk model will depend on “right-sizing” and gaining more client trust.
1 comment about "Black Box Cash Cows On The Verge Of Extinction (Mixed Metaphors Next)".
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  1. Maribel Henriquez from Varick Media Management, August 18, 2015 at 2:19 p.m.

    We're alive and well! We agree that the black box model benefits no one - we recognized client demands for more transparency years ago and have provided an alternative solution to marketers who wish to bring trading in-house but don't have the resources to do so.

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