SpotXchange LogoSpotXchange have launched a new service, known as ‘First Call’, that aims to allow online publishers to offer their premium inventory via an exchange if buyers on the exchange are willing to pay more than what has been paid by direct buyers or ad networks.

One of the problems for real-time bidding (RTB) advertising has been the quality of the inventory available to buyers. Premium publishers have been reluctant to put their inventory on the exchanges for fear of damaging the value of their directly sold inventory, or even the inventory they sell to ad networks, which tends to be sold at a higher rate, often to brand advertisers. Not having access to this inventory has been troublesome for the advancement of real-time bidding, as automated advertising has become associated with performance campaigns rather than brand, whereas there’s no real reason it can’t be used for both.

One solution has been to create what is known as a ‘first look’ option on premium and secondary inventory for exchange buyers. So, for example, a publisher can agree be to offer the exchanges the chance to buy first, provided they meet the agreed floor (i.e. minimum) price, which is usually set at a rate that will generate more revenue for the publisher. Put simply, if publishers can make more money by offering the impression to the exchanges than they can get directly or from ad networks, the impression will be sold to an exchange buyer.

More than 20 publishers have been using First Call to sell inventory in what SpotXchange describes as a ‘controlled and transparent environment’.

“First Call provided us with access to a robust ecosystem of buyers who were willing to pay higher prices to reach their target audiences at the right time,” said Leta Sweasy, Ad Operations, RealNetworks.   “In just the first few days, we saw an impressive 168% increase in our CPMs on the inventory sold via First Call and a massive uptick in revenue. These initial findings will enable us to defend our rate card and support higher rates in our other sales channels.”

“Simply put, First Call is another spoke in the wheel for our publishers to increase sales while becoming much more efficient in the sale of that premium inventory,” said Michael Shehan, president and CEO of SpotXchange.  “Since we rolled out First Call, we’ve been able to offer an even more transparent video ad buying and selling process, which ultimately delivers greater levels of trust with publishers.  By giving them the necessary tools through our portfolio of solutions and greater visibility in how they are selling, publishers can apply the right technology to maximise the value of their video inventory while driving down their cost of sales and ad operations.”

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