Robert Andrews
Mar 6, 2018

PubMatic’s ‘two big steps’ on transparency, and what’s next

Programmatic pioneers weigh in on industry trends and future endeavours.

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After another year of outcry over insufficient transparency in the digital advertising chain, supply-side platform PubMatic kicked off the year by making two pricing pivots geared toward soothing concerns.

As the company’s platform sales VP Kyle Dozeman tells Beet.TV in this video interview: “The first was the removal of our buy-side fees...the second was our transition to a first price auction.”

Earlier in February, PubMatic declared it would not charge advertisers any fees for transacting across its platform—something that had become a bugbear for buyers keen on full visibility for pricing models.

That followed its announcement that it would end the historic programmatic practice under which winning ad bidders would pay less than their bid price. This situation has been complicated by the emergence of header bidding, because inconsistency across auctions and lack of transparency into how each auction operates has created an environment where buyers do not have visibility into whether auctions are being closed at first- or second-price. So PubMatic said it would only operate the first-price model.

“We spent a lot of time listening to our buying community, and ultimately came to the conclusion that those steps not only provided transparency, but also a level of consistency for these buyers across their different supply platforms, and that that consistency allows them to focus more on growing programmatic media spend, and delivering great campaigns versus studying our business models, auctions and things like that,” Dozeman adds.

But the transparency game is not over. “For us, the next big wave starts to get into ensuring that each bid request is appended with as much possible data as possible so that the marketer understands exactly what they’re buying...adding things like viewability metrics, adding brand safety scores and fraud scores within the bid requests on an impression by impression basis, I think is allowing marketers to better understand at a nuanced level exactly what’s happening, and I think that’s where this all will go.”

This video is part of a series covering the IAB Annual Meeting. The series is sponsored by AppNexus. Please visit this page for more coverage.

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