“A Bloomberg Terminal for online media.”
We’ve heard that description from companies like Metamarkets and AdFin, but what exactly does that entail?
At the highest level, it’s a dashboard presenting a single view of inventory prices across numerous sources – a tool to enable media buyers to make better buying decisions, analogous to the famous contraption used by Wall Street traders.
While the concept seems easy, however, the execution isn’t. Beyond the technological hurdles collecting, normalizing and aggregating data from disparate sources (unlike Wall Street, there isn't a standard data format in the ad tech world), there’s also the logistical issue enlisting partners to release enough data such that the terminal can provide a broader market view.
Andrew Altersohn, who assumed the CEO position at AdFin roughly three weeks ago after Jeanne Houweling left, is facing down that latter challenge.
AdFin’s technology – which crunches and combines log files from various sources and displays the results on a dashboard – is largely ready to go, Altersohn said. It's not quite 100% yet – the company is still tinkering with its user interface and rolling out some additional features, like on-screen tips and tactics to assist the fresh-out-of-college media planners who will likely use the terminal.