By Mark Toner
Editor’s note: This is one of 11 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Programmatic Advertising Opportunities for Publishers,” released in September.
For Google, using technology to automate matches between advertisers, customers, and publishers is nothing new.
Its AdSense, which uses automated technology to match advertising with Web site content, “is one of our longest and most successful lines of business,” says Jason Washing, Google’s director of news and local media partnerships.
The technology is used by more than 2 million online publishers, and generated more than US$9 billion in advertising revenue for Google and its partners in 2013.
“We’re committed to simplifying digital advertising and are investing heavily in new technologies to remove friction in the market and allow advertisers, agencies, and publishers to transact more easily,” Washing says.
Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick in 2008 “turbocharged the display business,” Washing says. Its first foray into real-time bidding (RTB), the DoubleClick AdExchange, launched the following year.
Known to publishers as AdEx, “the platform now powers more transactions than every other world exchange combined,” he says.
In 2014, Google entered a partnership with the Local Media Consortium, a group of more than 50 news companies that operate 900 news sites in North America.
“At full deployment, programmatic buyers will have access to more than 11 billion ad impressions of extremely high-quality inventory,” Washing says.
Along with local publishers’ efforts to drive customers to the exchange, Google’s own buy- and sell-side teams are working to ensure that more “brand marketing dollars” enter the exchange.
Doing so, Washing says, will “optimise return on investment, while enabling the consortium membership to optimise yield on that inventory in ways not possible only three years ago (2011).”
Google will also work with consortium partners to develop “creative ways to package inventory across their membership,” Washing says. Doing so, he adds, will “expose an additional level of efficiency in the way the buying community can gain access to this high-quality inventory and audience.”
Identifying new efficiencies in programmatic transactions will become increasingly critical as RTB captures additional advertising dollars in the coming years, according to Washing.
“Many organisations are re-thinking the way they organise their teams in order to accommodate these changes,” he says. For media companies, “the timing is right to explore how to best situate programmatic in your revenue goal-setting process.”
As for Google, Washing says the company “believes strongly that programmatic will be the primary driver of display and digital video ad growth for the foreseeable future, and (it) will continue to invest in our platforms to satisfy that belief and support the growth of our partners’ business.”
About Mark Toner
Mark Toner is a freelance writer and editor based in Washington, D.C., USA. He has covered the newspaper industry, technology, and the Internet since 1995, and served as a writer and editor for the Newspaper Association of America’s Presstime and TechNews magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.