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More Publishers Embrace Header Bidding, Digital Sales Teams Endure

More publishers are adopingt header bidding, technology that's designed to help them sell more ads at higher prices by allowing multiple ad tech companies to compete for their inventory simultaneously. Better prices and more competition for inventory are making publishers more comfortable with programmatic ad sales, according to a Wall Street Journal report. But header bidding is also making more premium inventory available that was once direct sold by ad sales. The Journal reported that USA Today "has embraced header bidding for its sports properties. Chris Pirrone, general manager at USA Today Sports Media Group, said he now has eight new ad tech partners bidding on his digital ad space, and is selling more top inventory programmatically. 'I now have a ton of new demand,' he said." So the question is: "do publishers still need as many salespeople long-term? Are machines finally going to replace people in digital advertising?" the Journal asks. "Not anytime soon, say industry executives. Larger media companies still need to convince ad buyers that their sites are relevant and audiences are worth targeting, which requires salespeople. And many still derive significant revenue from selling premium ads like video and custom content directly, said Eric Franchi, co-founder of the digital ad firm Undertone."



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