OpenX Acquires Mezzobit, PubNation To Bolster Publisher Offerings

While “blind programmatic” is often blamed for any number of unwanted online ad adjacencies, programmatic platforms can actually be an ally for publishers in important areas, such as audience validation, tech transparency and ad quality.

That’s the thinking behind programmatic platform OpenX’s move to provide publishers with a wider range of services in coordination with its SSP tech, chiefly through the acquisition of two publisher tech companies: Mezzobit and PubNation.

Terms of the cash and stock deal were not disclosed.

Mezzobit, founded in 2012, scans publisher pages to identify all first- and third-party tags and pixels to determine their impact on page performance and value to the advertiser, as well as what information ad tech platforms may be gathering about publishers’ audiences — potentially without their knowledge.

The company’s stated mission is to “restore first-party control over audiences and data for any company with an online presence.”



PubNation, founded as an offshoot of publisher Curiosity Media in 2015, provides publishers with services including real-time quality monitoring and automatic tools that enable publishers to swiftly remove unwanted ads. It claims to be “the world's only ad quality and user experience management platform.”

Although pricing and fees for their various services remain to be worked out, OpenX broadly plans to integrate Mezzobit and PubNation’s monitoring and quality-control technology with its own automated sales platform. It plans to provide an enterprise solution for independent publishers, allowing them to more easily manage ad creatives in the header bidding environment. 

OpenX head of marketplace quality John Murphy stated: “By rolling up two of the most advanced quality technologies in the market, OpenX is best equipped to provide publishers with the tools and insights they need to materially improve performance as they seek greater visibility, transparency, and control.”

This is just the latest in a series of tie ups in the programmatic ad space.

Last week Concert, a publisher-controlled ad platform owned by Vox Media and NBCUniversal, entered into a new partnership with programmatic tech and ad marketplace Index Exchange. Index Exchange will help Concert add programmatic sales capabilities to the latter’s marketplace for premium digital ad inventory. 

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