The consensus at a panel on Tuesday during OMMA Programmatic is that prices are definitely going up for programmatic media. Of course media pricing often increases in Q4, but this year, advertising related to the presidential election is playing a role.
The fact that prices are rising is “good,” said Jeremy Hlavacek, vice president, global automated monetization, The Weather Company.
“What else would a publisher say on this panel?” he asked, prompting laughter from attendees.
Hlavacek said rising prices are reflective of the marketplace maturing. “There’s a huge wave of demand coming, and viewability and targeting have improved, and the result is that buyers are putting more dollars against a smaller pool of [programmatic] impressions, which is driving the prices up,” he said. However, Hlavacek said that some inventory is challenged and that Weather may remove those units.
“Prices have to go up if publishers want quality environments,” said Michael Moreau, COO, Link Data Cloud, Krux, a data management platform. “It’s absolutely critical that the rates increase,” he said, citing improved targeting that enables his clients to invest more in programmatic, which means an improved return on investment.
In answer to questions about the secondary market, or open programmatic marketplaces, or open RTB, panelists said they’re seeing the price-to-performance ratio improve over time. “We’ve seen a move up the funnel for programmatic to leverage the data, to get efficiency and scale. I don’t necessarily think there’s no room for the open market. The mix of programmatic direct and the open marketplace will depend on the KPIs [key performance indicators], and there’s no one-size-fits-all in programmatic,” said Vincent Bareges, VP of publisher development, Amnet Group. He said open exchange will still play a role in the programmatic exchange but it will probably be more for direct response advertising.
“We see prices rising and we’ll continue to see them rise regardless of whether it’s a private marketplace deal, open RTB, or other,” said Doug Grumet, SVP, media, AMP Agency.
Weather’s Hlavacek said increased pricing may be related to cleaner and better ad inventory on the exchanges, a result of the focus on ad fraud and ad quality.
Moreau thinks the uptick in pricing will continue beyond Q4 and the election cycle.