Rajeev Goel is CEO of PubMatic.
AdExchanger.com: What will demand‐side optimization provide for the advertiser/agency? Can you quantify performance improvements an advertiser might see in comparison to futures or reserved bidding/buying?
Real time demand‐side optimization will provide advertisers and agencies with the ability to better target individual web users with the most relevant and timely ads while at the same time increasing advertiser ROI. With real time bidding, the advertiser can finally target an ad for a web user on an individual basis, rather than grouping individuals and making an “average” decision across all of them.
Note that there are great benefits for all parties involved – better ad quality for users, which improves the overall user experience, and higher ROI for advertisers, which means they will be willing to spend more money advertising online. For this reason, it’s extremely important that publishers move forward with working with real time bidding solutions, and PubMatic has seamlessly enabled its marquee publisher partners to do exactly that with its pioneering solution launched in January 2009. Our publishers don’t have to make any investment to support this important capability – we provide it to them as a benefit of their working with PubMatic.
Are there any publisher benefits? For example, could real‐time bidding turn remnant into premium inventory?
There are tremendous publisher benefits. In addition to the improved user experience I mentioned earlier, publishers will see increased revenue per ad (higher eCPM). Each ad buyer has access to proprietary data about the web site and the user on the web site, and real time bidding allows the buyer to pay up to the full value of that impression. At PubMatic, we’ve seen publisher eCPMs increase by anywhere from 10% to 40% when they participate in PubMatic’s real time bidding program. As more and more advertisers buy on a real time basis, I expect this benefit to expand significantly. This is the main reason why it’s extremely important for publishers, when evaluating optimization solutions, to look for one with the ability to provide them with real time bidding capabilities. If they don’t, they are compromising their visitors’ web experience and leaving money on the table.
How long before real‐time bidding and spot market "buys" achieve scale in the online display ad marketplace?
The reality is that real time bidding has already achieved scale. There are hundreds of millions if not billions of impressions per day already being monetized in this fashion.
Will futures/reserved buying "go away" someday with the exception of sales through a publisher's direct sales team?
No, futures / reserved buying will likely never go away. You can look at other media to see this – in TV there are the “up‐fronts” which are reserved buying, but then TV time gets transacted throughout the year. Reserved buying and real time buying serve different advertiser needs, so we will have both for a long time to come.
How many customers are currently using your RTB offering and when will it become widely available?
PubMatic is the industry leader in RTB for publishers. No other company in the space has this capability. We have thousands of publishers utilizing it already, and it’s widely available across the PubMatic platform. It’s a reality at PubMatic and delivering significant publisher benefits – both in terms of increased monetization of 10‐30% but also improved web user experience.
What are the challenges for PubMatic in offering RTB?
Offering RTB requires significant technology capabilities and investment. We literally share hundreds of data points on a per impression basis with numerous buying partners. This requires a significant understanding of a publisher’s business rules, investment in data center capabilities to allow for real time communication, extremely high uptime for server processing, and a very advanced optimization platform to manage real time and non‐real time buyers alike. Because of the advanced requirements and heavy investment, it doesn’t make sense for 99% of publishers to do this on their own. They must partner with PubMatic to do this, as no other publisher optimization provider provides this service.
Does PubMatic provide its own trading platform/interface so that clients may access PubMatic's RTB?
We work directly with hundreds of ad networks and exchanges, including most of the top 50 in the US and nearly every exchange. They all have the ability to access our real time bidding interface to get access to some of the best inventor on the web across our premium publishers.
Does PubMatic's RTB work with any ad server?
RTB works with any ad server. Every partner who we have talked to about RTB has been able to connect with us to make this a reality.
Is any additional infrastructure implementation for PubMatic's RTB required such as co‐location or cloud?
We have very strict guidelines on transaction time, in order to make sure that the web surfer’s experience is not compromised in any way. Because of this, we do have to figure out how to work with our ad network and exchange partners to manage the speed of the decision making process. This usually requires that our equipment and the ad network or exchange’s equipment be physically located within specific geographic distances.
Are your publishers' URLs exposed in the RTB process? Is there potential for channel conflict with your publishers?
Naturally, buyers of media want to know that they are buying media that is safe for their advertisers. That requires a certain level of transparency on behalf of the publisher. We give publishers the ability to control the level of transparency that they want. Ultimately, the publisher needs to feel that the transparency allows them to get maximum value for their media while at the same time being congruent with their direct sales efforts. As I mentioned earlier, futures/reserved buying and real time bidding are two very different products from the buyer’s perspective, so there is very little chance for channel conflict to occur.
Are all of your publishers part of the program or is there an opt‐out?
Publisher control is paramount at PubMatic, as the publisher is our ultimate customer. As a result, we allow publishers to opt‐in or opt‐out of real time bidding.
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