As we prepare for this week’s INMA European Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, we spoke to one of our featured speakers, Fredrik Strauss, senior advisor of online advertising products at Mktmedia AB (Stampen). Strauss discusses the emergence of real-time bidding.

INMA: What exactly is real-time bidding?

Strauss: Its a fundamental new way of buying advertising in real time, thanks to huge technology steps in the last years. Often called RTB, more and many consider it real-time buying, which better reflects the possibility of this technology.

It enable buyers to define and book campaigns constraints into a buyer system that is connected to seller systems. And each time a site gets a visitor, its seller system sends a buyer request to all buyers who, in 100 milliseconds, decide if the want to buy or not.

Now we are seeing good prices on RTB in Sweden. We doubled our RTB revenues month by month now, so yes it is here.

INMA: How does RTB help publishers?

Strauss: Several ways. First, we get a lot new clients automatically. Currently we have 12,000 advertisers buying via RTB at our 40 premium Web sites (we enable more or less all inventory at RTB).

Also its a convenient way for agencies to buy, so we have more and more demand from the trading desks. If we cant serve them with programmatic sales, they simply go to an other media house.

We also act as buyers on the RTB market, since often we have strictly geo-targeted campaigns for local clients and then we often dont have enough reach. Then we buy complementary traffic at RTB, so we can fullfill the campaign and make the local client satisfied. 

INMA: The media industry is well known for tough competition. Is there a way to outpace others and stand out in the real-time bidding landscape? What tools should/can be used?

Strauss: Its crucial to have a publisher-centric sell side system that helps us define correct floor prices to maximise revenue per advertiser. But the key is having dedicated and skilled people who are interested in this, as well as a tight connection with the trading desks so they can enable buys.

We also see that the combination of a Big Data platform and RTB buying is important; then we as a publisher can sell a data-driven campaign (with data from our readers, verified logged-in users, to the advertiser).

INMA: What are the resources needed for publishers to correctly exist in the RTB environment? Is it possible to do that all in-house in times of huge cost-savings around the publishing industry

Strauss: Most of all its about people, interested employes who also are allowed to test to find the good approach. We currently see that more then 50% of our revenues from our remnant sales comes from RTB and that eCPM are four to five times higher. 

INMA’s strategic report “Programmatic Advertising Opportunities for Publishers,” released in September, offers a detailed look at programmatic buying, including real-time bidding, worldwide.