StickyAds.tv, a supply-side platform (SSP) that started out in France, has been moving into multiple European markets over the last few years. Here Massimo de Magistris, General Manager EMEA, StickyADS.tv discusses his company’s platform, pricing, publisher co-operatives and the Italian video advertising market.
Publishers sometimes complain about the lack of differentiation between the various SSPs. How do you go about differentiating your platform from the competition?
I totally understand this concern, and it’s actually more applicable to the supply side. On the demand side, there are two key terms: DSP (the technology), and the trading desk (the service). However on the supply side, everyone uses an SSP, which can generate confusion. I believe StickyADS.tv has a unique positioning in the market; we define ourselves as a private exchange technology provider. Through this definition, we want to underline that we are a software company and our core business is working with publishers to build their own private exchange, so we don’t operate or control their video inventory monetisation – they do. There is no other company in the market that is focused exclusively on helping publishers to go programmatic and implement the most granular business rules while keeping full control. This is the commitment we make to the market, and our customer list is testimony that we are delivering on this promise.
StickyADS.tv has been publishing data on (among other things) the CPMs in various European markets. Are CPMs typically going up due to the increase in demand, or are they going down due to the increase in supply?
Each month we publish an infographic with figures relating to CPMs across various industry sectors, all extracted from our platform. There is no single answer that fits and corresponds to all EU markets, and each of the top five (UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany) is different.
Video is experiencing an increase in the average CPM due to buyer density increasing faster than supply. France is one of the most advanced programmatic video markets in continental Europe, with programmatic video displaying a steady increase in CPMs, at around 12€. Germany – a strong supply-side market – presents a unique position in the programmatic landscape with some of the highest CPMs: between 16€ to 20€ CPM. The UK is a strong demand-side market, with relatively high CPMs at around 13€ to 16€.
We’ve seen a few major publisher co-operatives emerge in the UK, but few are offering video as part of the pooled offering. In France, StickyADS.tv is working with La Place Media, a French co-operative. Could you provide some insight into how that is going, and do you expect to see more publisher co-operatives start offering video?
There are a number of benefits that publishers develop from combining knowledge and resources. La Place Media – one of StickyADS.tv’s first clients – is a great example. La Place Media is a business laboratory that creates knowledge and generates opportunities for its members, allowing premium publishers to join forces to reach a significant position in the marketplace. The company has successfully increased from 120 to 250 publisher members, and we really enjoy working with such an innovative team. StickyADS.tv’s provides La Place Media with the technological tools to build their very own private exchange, so premium publishers can keep full control of their inventory monetisation. France is an advanced market in terms of programmatic, and it was the first to see the premium publishers co-operative really evolve. We are now seeing many other publishers follow the same path in other countries, including the UK.
You started out working with StickyADS.tv in Italy. How is online video and programmatic progressing in the Italian market?
We launched StickyADS.tv in Italy in December 2013, which was our first European office outside of France. Shortly after, we also opened offices in Madrid, London and Hamburg.
Programmatic video in Italy is progressing extremely well – in just a few months, we have been able to grow the volume of our local private exchanges from 30 million to 300 million video impressions per month, bringing on board all the top Italian publishers. The Italian market is a video-centric market and it keeps growing. Online programmatic video is booming, with one of the highest growth rates in the EU, so my outlook could not be more positive.
Are many publishers now using programmatic platforms for direct video advertising sales?
The interest in programmatic direct – or ‘automated guaranteed’ as referred to by the IAB – is certainly growing in all major European countries. In the US, eMarketer is forecasting programmatic direct to account for two-fifths (42 percent) of programmatic ad spending by 2016, compared to a quarter (26 percent) in 2015. In the UK, the IAB predicts programmatic direct will account for 15% of digital advertising, and this figure is going to grow significantly.