Editor’s note: This is one of 11 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Programmatic Advertising Opportunities for Publishers,” released in September.

An alliance of 11 Danish publishers has created a private marketplace that now accounts for 25% of overall digital programmatic revenue. Launched in January 2013, the Dansk Udgivernetværk (Danish Publisher Network) is handling all programmatic sales for the 11 publishers that reach 70% of the Danish population. 

DPN is an alliance of Jyllands-Posten, Ekstra Bladet, Politiken, Krak, Nordjyske, Politikens Lokalaviser, Den Store Danske, Jobzonen, Jyske Medier and Børsen. The goal of the alliance — which offers offers online inventory and audience data to agency trading desks through real-time bidding— is to bring together all major publishers in the market.

DPN offers advertisers advanced and unique first-party audience data and greater reach within a premium and brand-safe environment. Along with offering quality content, DPN aims to maintain control of first-party data by each partner and to gain a share of the rapidly growing RTB market in Denmark — estimated to be 20% of the total display revenue in the country.

Based in Copenhagen, DPN is led by Martin Jensen and employs a small team with functions including product management, yield management, and sales. DPN uses Krux as its DMP to collect behaviour data for use in selling in a private marketplace. It sells that data through the Rubicon Project’s exchange (a leading Los Angeles-based technology company automating the buying and selling of advertising).

DPN recently began partnering with Denmark’s No. 1 job search site, Jobzonen, to create “Track and Trace,” which uses programmatic targeting to match jobs with qualified candidates.

As of mid-2014, 25% of overall digital programmatic revenue has been from the private marketplace.

DPN offers these lessons from its 18 months of operation: 

  1. Build the capacity of the internal ad operation to offer programmatic sales.

  2. Determine which of the publisher’s valuable data sets the demand side is asking for. 

  3. Use sales capabilities to leverage the huge potential of private marketplaces — it is all about sales efficiency.

  4. Take control as a publisher in terms of data, yields, and pricing.

  5. Ensure you are working with the right technology partners, creating close relationships with trading desks, and making investments in programmatic staffing, partnerships, and resources. Programmatic is a long-term strategy decision, not a short-term revenue stream. You need to invest in programmatic to see long-term benefits. 

  6. In a small market, scale and reach are essential for success.

  7. RTB is no longer only about unsold inventory — it is about quality inventory. 

  8. Create demand by leveraging existing clients and campaigns to make overall CPMs increase.

  9. Even in a programmatic world, there is still manual work to be done.

  10. Growth in programmatic will come from video and mobile in the coming years. Prepare for this shift now.

  11. Collaborate, learn from, and join forces with publishers around the world. We all compete with Facebook, Yahoo, and Google.