Digital ad tech competitors Centro and AppNexus have partnered for a private deal integration.
Centro Brand Exchange, a marketplace of publishers, can now make private deals with advertisers and agencies using AppNexus’ programmatic ad-buying platform. AppNexus selected Centro Brand Exchange as its first ASI (AppNexus Supply Integration) deals partner.
This is the latest news from ad tech firm Centro. In July, the company announced its acquisition of GraphScience, a social ad-buying and optimization company, and in September, it announced a partnership with WSI, a network of digital marketing consultants in over 80 countries.
Below is a conversation with Jesse Cozart, who joined Centro Brand Exchange in September as vice president/general manager. Before Centro, Cozart worked at Tapad, DataXu, Google and DoubleClick. This interview has been edited and condensed.
RTD: What are your goals for the partnership?
Jesse Cozart: We have two goals. The first is to raise the bar on quality and transparency of supply available to programmatic buyers. Making private deals from Centro’s ad marketplace available to more buyers will improve trust in the industry. The second goal is to drive more dollars from quality advertisers to our publisher partners. AppNexus reaches a wide swath of agencies and brands, and we want to automate their access to the best possible inventory.
RTD: Can you tell us which clients/publishers used the product in beta?
Cozart: We’ve come out of beta and we are fully connected as an AppNexus Supply Integration partner. We can’t name the first advertisers using this, but we are running campaigns for a major agency with a client who is a top 50 advertiser.
RTD: What's different about this partnership?
Cozart: Previously, AppNexus only offered Private Deal functionality to publishers who used their ad server. We were one of the first chosen to help diversify their private supply due to the quality and performance of our exchange.
RTD: With the launch of this partnership, do you have any concerns about ad blocking?
Cozart: Ad blocking is an industrywide concern, and some fault lies with publishers who oversaturate pages with ads, creating an annoying experience for users. Centro Brand Exchange carefully selects publishers who do not clutter their content with overly intrusive ads, which is reflected in the quality scores we’ve received from third parties such as Pixalate and Trust Metrics.
RTD: Could you talk about the benefits of a curated inventory?
Cozart: A publisher who monetizes inventory via the Centro Brand Exchange benefits from being grouped with other publishers who have high ad standards. In aggregate, we can attract top-notch brands and advertisers who want to find our private marketplace’s inventory and are willing to pay a premium for that access. The quality of the marketplace is evident based on the volume of requests we receive to set up private deals.
RTD: What else should we know about the partnership?
Cozart: From day one, our Exchange has always focused on quality--both on the buy and sell side. As the market continues to push aggressively for quality and transparency in the programmatic space, we look forward to sharing our experiences with AppNexus (and other programmatic demand partners). Together, we’re helping advertisers feel safe about migrating their budgets to programmatic media.