IAB Europe's Supply Path Optimization Guide Relies On Brands, Agencies, Publishers

IAB Europe on Wednesday released an Industry guide to Supply Path Optimization (SPO), which has been a major topic for members this year as the industry organization encourages greater transparency and efficiency across the supply chain, specifically related to the fees charged by intermediaries.

“SPO is a skill that any organization at either end of the supply chain will never regret investing in,” stated David Goddard, senior director of development at DoubleVerify and chair of IAB Europe Programmatic Trading Committee. “It will deliver efficiencies across the board, whether it be cost, an improved win rate, a better yield or a greater reach across quality inventory or audience.”

Written by a variety of brands, agencies, publishers and intermediaries including Bloomberg, Vodafone and Xandr, the guide is an educational overview on SPO and how companies can start a strategy. It also features an overview on Demand Path Optimization (DPO) for publishers.



As explained in the guide, DPO enables publishers to understand how their inventory is being bought and by whom, providing publishers with greater transparency into their relationship and revenue split with supply side platforms (SSP).

As programmatic media continues to become more complex with the introduction of new supply paths such as header bidding, the media has become less transparent for advertisers and agencies, specifically related to the fees charged by intermediaries.

SPO offers help to those who need to understand the media, allowing buyers to hone in on low-cost buying paths, as well as transparent and high quality.

With 87% of brands, agencies and demand-side platforms (DSPs) actively implementing SPO and citing brand safety, reduced fraud and improved KPIs as the main benefits, this guide aims to become a call to action for all to adopt SPO as one of their core business functions. 

SPO is conducted through a simple audit and evaluation, a request for information (RFI) process, enabling the buy-side to determine partners who drive value through their technology and service, according to Helen Mussard, marketing & industry strategy director at IAB Europe.

“There are different approaches to SPO,” Mussard wrote in an email to MediaPost. “Buyers can leverage real-time algorithms from DSPs to make data-driven decisions or initiate a more strategic approach working with fewer SSP partners who can offer incremental value and incentives such as savings, operational efficiencies and transparency.”

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