Commentary

Xaxis Gets More Serious About Programmatic Native Via Plista's Entry Into North America

Xaxis on Thursday said its German-based plista unit will launch native programmatic in the U.S. and Canada. It’s a significant move, as more ad-tech providers seek to cash in on the native programmatic opportunity. And since WPP's Xaxis is one of the largest players in programmatic, it's not surprising it would extend its ambitions in this area.

Xaxis is billing its offering as the industry’s first single-source programmatic solution for buying desktop and mobile native ads across in-feed, outstream video, recommendation widgets and in-ad formats.  What’s unique is that adding the popular outstream video format will enable advertisers to use the same data and audience segments that they already do with digital and display advertising.

Xaxis said advertisers using native will benefit from more precise targeting and the ability to sync their native campaigns with their existing digital spend using audience data from Turbine, Xaxis’ data management platform (DMP). “Plista solves for two of native advertising's major challenges – achieving scale and accurately measuring attribution in the context of an advertisers’ total digital spend,” stated Matt Sweeney, CEO, North America at Xaxis.  Sweeney said the offering helps unify an “extremely fragmented native landscape."

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The landscape is fragmented, to be sure. But whether this additional one-stop shop offering will help it become any less fragmented is a question.

In addition to bringing programmatic native to all channels and devices, plista will enable advertisers to sync their native campaigns with existing display, mobile, online video, digital radio, connected TV and social media efforts.  This, the company believes, will enable much more effective cross-channel attribution as well as the ability to use native sequentially with other ads and to implement universal frequency capping.

Adweekreported that Xaxis global CEO Brian Gleason said that revenue from the partnership with plista will bring Xaxis double-digit percentage growth in total global ad revenue.

By 2021, native display ad revenue in the U.S., which includes native in-feed ads on publisher properties and social platforms, will make up 74% of total U.S. display ad revenue, a significant jump from a 56% share in 2016, according to new BI Intelligence estimates based on historical data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, as well as HIS, according to Business Insider Intelligence.

The BI Intelligence report attributes the coming rise of native ads to the increasing importance of Facebook and Twitter as advertising channels. Another reason for this projected spending jump will be programmatic technologies that will supposedly streamline the process of buying and selling native ad inventory at scale for publishers and advertisers.  

With the U.S. and Canada debut, Xaxis said that plista increases its global presence to 13 markets, including existing operations in the UK, Germany, China, Australia and the Netherlands. 

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