Babar Khan Javed
Apr 2, 2018

Premium has been redefined in programmatic: BBC

The BBC claims its bets on contextual programmatic have paid off.

David Goddard
David Goddard

When advertisers invest in programmatic exchanges that have the capacity for contextual ad placements, brand perceptions get a lift.

That's the assertion of David Goddard, the global head of programmatic trading for BBC, who says there are tangible and proven benefits for doing so, apart from raising premiums and ad earnings for publishers.

However, there are publisher KPIs that matter, beyond just creating high-quality content. In order for a publisher to charge a premium, it must ensure viewability, brand safety, and remove fraudulent traffic, said Goddard.

Best practices employed by Goddard's team around the world have allowed the news organization to excel in monetisation of audiences online and offline, he said.

Adobe's Q4 2017 Digital Analytix report states that BBC.com is accessed by over 17 million unique browsers in APAC and achieved over 127 million page views in that quarter, with 79% of pageviews traffic coming from mobile and apps.

"Only in programmatic, truly in real time, can you optimise towards viewability," said Goddard. "If you have a preferred deal in a premium environment and it's highly viewable, your brand uplift is going to be higher."

Publishers need to very mindful of the advertisement they have on their site to ensure the user experience is positive, Goddard said, adding that repeated harm to the user experience in the interest of ad dollars will erode page views.

"That's why, a while back, we adhered to the LEAN initiative before the Google's Coalition for Better Ads," said Goddard.

Developed by the IAB, LEAN stands for "light, encrypted, ad choice supported, and non-invasive ads", which Goddard says requires publishers to make manual corrections that benefit users and their experience.

In adhering to the standard, BBC removed non-compliant ads from its digital properties.

"You could look at a dashboard all day long to pull levers and see which ad formats have the best yields, but if it's not right for the user experience, you better think about it," Goddard said.

The rise of ad blockers hasn't harmed the APAC region as much as it has in other markets, Goddard said, adding that blame can't just fall on the buy side for its rise in prominence and adoption.

"Publishers have got to take responsibility for what ads they are getting through and what is happening on their site," said Goddard. "We can control it and we have."

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