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Russian DSPs Battle For Distinction

Russian DSPIn Russia, programmatic and RTB practices are still in an early stage and make up less than 10% of the digital display advertising market.

Yet despite that, or maybe because of it, demand-side platforms seem to be saturating the market – each seeking to distance itself from the competition.

"The market is getting new DSPs every month," Vladimir Klimontovich, CTO of Russian DSP GetIntent, told AdExchanger. "Or, at least, new people claiming to have their own DSPs. But DSPs are also disappearing every month."

With the constantly changing demand-side landscape in Russia, certain differences are starting to arise among DSPs. Does a vendor have local knowledge? Was the technology developed in-house? Is the vendor independent or connected to a holding company or agency?

"RTB has a small share and it isn't always effective," Klimontovich added, noting that many marketers don't have enough money to properly invest in the technology. "Russian marketers care about KPIs and things like conversion rates. They are always asking what kind of technology you use and how effective it is."

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Yandex's ADFOX Acquisition Signals Movement For RTB In Russia

Yandex AdFoxEarly in September, Russian search engine Yandex acquired ad tech company ADFOX, generating a bit of buzz around the relatively early stage programmatic buying market in Russia.

Yandex only entered the RTB market in 2012 and ADFOX, a Moscow-based sell-side platform, was originally founded in 2005 but also introduced its RTB offerings in 2012.

"We expect the deal with ADFOX will let us extend our ad network coverage and the number of clicks and impressions for our advertisers," Vladimir Isaev, head of international communications for Yandex, told AdExchanger in an email. "We now have the service and technology to work with premium publishers, or those who have their own ad sales teams. We didn't have that kind of solution in our commercial services line before that.

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Segmento, The Russian Rocket Fuel

Roman QA ImageThis is part of a series on companies advancing programmatic buying in Russia. Read our recent Q&As with YandexADFOXAiData, HubRus, Between Digital and RuTarget.

For Segmento co-founder and CEO Roman Nester, imitation is truly the highest form of flattery. He goes so far as to describe his company as a Rocket Fuel “clone.”

“Not many people would say that they are someone’s clone,” he said. “We think they are a good player and are doing [what they do] successfully.”

The company provides a programmatic media-buying platform, using a demand-side platform (DSP) from RuTarget.

The first of the 100 programmatic campaigns Segmento has run in Russia occurred in 2012. Since then, the company has grown to 20 employees with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and is working to expand beyond the country.

"We have created a dedicated team of data scientists, account managers and ad ops for every global task to solve," Nester said. "Our team comes from high-frequency trading background and from leading advertising players. Some of our guys were working for Yandex and Google. We have a strong team for technology, with marketing and advertising specialists."

He told AdExchanger he expects its revenue numbers to double by the end of the year, and described the challenge of data in Russia and how mobile and video programmatic are doing in the country.

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RuTarget: Harnessing Russian Data And Why Global Companies Struggle Penetrating The Market

Eugene QA Image_edited-1This is part of a series on companies advancing programmatic buying in Russia. Read our recent Q&As with YandexADFOXAiData, HubRus and Between Digital.

Even with a growing Russian programmatic market, RuTarget’s founder and CEO Eugene Legkiy claims its greatest competition comes from without – from global players like IPONWEB, OpenX and AppNexus.

Global companies trying to make inroads are struggling, he said, because of language barriers and because business opportunities are biased toward local and regional players.

But this will eventually change.

In the meantime, the 15-employee strong RuTarget, which launched in 2011, will work to extend its business providing data management tools for demand-side platforms (DSPs), ad networks and agencies.

"RuTarget develops programmatic solutions, mostly on the demand side and less on the supply side," Legkiy said. "We work to analyze big data [and] predict new trends and behaviors based on the data and then target communications based on that data."

He added that RuTarget processes "more than 1 billion data points locally in Russia and we see each and every person online in Russia more than 30 times a day."

Legkiy spoke to AdExchanger about the work RuTarget's plans for growth for the company and how international players are moving into the Russian programmatic space.
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Between Digital Juggles SSP And DSP In Russia

Mikhail QA imageThis is part of a series on companies advancing programmatic buying in Russia. Read our recent Q&As with YandexADFOXAiData and HubRus.

Between Digital covers both the buy and sell side in the programmatic space in Russia. Its Between sell-side platform launched in 2012 and its Intensity demand-side platform in 2013, and the company employs approximately 20 people with a headquarters in Russia.

Mikhail Getmanov, CEO, told AdExchanger it wasn't the company's intention to launch a DSP, "but we needed to drive the demand for our publishers. And that meant going into the buy side of programmatic. We wanted our publishers to earn more from the RTB ecosystem, which is still in the early years of development."

The company now works with more than 30 Russian DSPs and several global DSPs, and on the buy side, offers mobile and desktop display inventory. Russian-based Impulse VC has been an investor with Between Digital since its inception and the company is "actively talking with different funds and partners because we are considering different opportunities for future growth," Getmanov said.

AdExchanger recently spoke to Getmanov about the Russian market from both the buy and sell side, the growth of programmatic premium and how mobile RTB is growing in Russia.

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Local DSP HubRus Sees Growth In RTB, Video in Russia

Oleg Image HubRusThis is part of a series on companies advancing programmatic buying in Russia. Read our recent Q&As with Yandex, ADFOX and AiData.

Many international DSPs follow and learn from companies in more mature programmatic markets. But the team behind HubRus, a Moscow-based DSP founded in 2012, admits that the decision to introduce a local DSP to Russia came after attending AdTech in New York.

"It took about a year to create a prototype of our product," Oleg Nazarov Bruni, Development Director for HubRus, told AdExchanger via email. "At that time, we worked with several worldwide CPA networks monetizing Russian and American offers through our affiliate networks. We gained great experience in advertising campaigns management, and realized that it was right time to create a local DSP."

AdExchanger exchanged emails with Bruni about what the company offers, the market for DSPs in Russia and plans for expansion in this growing market.

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AiData Solving Data Challenges In Russia

Nikita Image QAThis is the third in a series on companies advancing programmatic buying in Russia. Read our recent Q&As with Yandex and ADFOX

As programmatic buying starts to take off in certain countries, finding and analyzing audience data can be a major challenge to getting it off the ground.

In Russia, at least one company has been tackling this issue from the beginning. DMP AiData.me launched in Moscow in 2012, about the same time RTB started to rise in Russia, and now has 15 employees. Most of the company's work is within the programmatic space, but management has a unique perspective on how data can be used in multiple marketing functions.

"Generally, we share this data with advertising companies but we also see the demand of the DMP for banks and other companies who need more information about their users," Nikita Rvachev, the COO of AiData, told AdExchanger. "For example, we have some clients who want to change their content on the website based on the data we know about their user."

Rvachev spoke with AdExchanger.

What is the programmatic space like in Russia right now? Are clients asking to use this technology and data?

NIKITA RVACHEV: The shift started quite quickly last year and now probably all clients are at least asking about this technology. A lot of them are already using it and trying to optimize it.

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ADFOX Sees Interest Grow For Programmatic In Russia

Boris Image AdFox_edited-1

The Russian advertising market is one of marked interest for ad tech companies.

Certainly Western mainstays like Google are working their way in. But it's the local players that dominate. Consider Google's recent partnership with Yandex to expand its inventory offered by Russian publishers.

One such local player is ADFOX, a Moscow-based sell-side platform founded in 2005 that introduced its RTB offerings in 2012.

"We started with traditional ad-serving technology for Web and during development of different business models and different types of traffic, we created different functionalities, according to the demand of our clients," Boris Omelnitskiy, the company's chief development officer, told AdExchanger. "With that strategy, at the end of 2012, we started ADFOX's SSP that supports programmatic selling for publishers and that started RTB for us."

ADFOX certainly isn't the only company in Russia and Eastern Europe rushing to support programmatic in Russia. Yandex and Warsaw-based RTB House are also pushing to expand programmatic ad initiatives in the region.

Omelnitskiy, who is also the president of IAB Russia, spoke to AdExchanger about the work IAB Russia is doing to promote programmatic, the state of the industry in Russia and how ADFOX, which employs 35 people, is distinguishing itself among domestic and international players.

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AdChina Launches Mobile DMP

AdChina DMP imageAdChina, an advertising technology company for both the supply and demand side in China, is expanding its mobile side of the business to incorporate a mobile data management platform (DMP), in addition to the mobile ad network and mobile DSP that the company offers.

"Most of our competitors are either PC-only and trying to expand to mobile, or they are mobile-only looking to the PC space," said Michael Gao, VP of mobile operations and development center for AdChina. "We have our hands on both PC and mobile and that is one of our unique strengths."

The new mobile DMP, officially announced today, is meant to work with AdChina's other offerings, including its display DMP, and bring together data when possible. The interface showcases PC-only data, mobile-only data, and then PC and mobile data together, Gao explained, even though the market isn't quite at the place where companies are combining their PC and mobile programmatic in that way.

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iClick Brings China Programmatic To The United States

Sammy QA Image_edited-1There are many differences between programmatic buying in China versus the United States. Among them is that companies in the United States are often very focused, creating more fragmentation than you see in China.

iClick Interactive, a DSP in China, sees itself as a unified platform that offers advertisers support throughout many phases of the digital media buying process, including search, display, mobile and video.

"In China, programmatic contributes less than 2% to 3% of the whole digital media buying, compared to the United States where it's maybe 20% to 25%," Sammy Hsieh, CEO of iClick, told AdExchanger. "Advertisers in China won't just allocate 2% to 3% alone to another agency to get them on that platform. Because of that, we have a more holistic distribution. We can see the consumer journey instead of just helping the advertisers to do just one thing."

The company, with six offices throughout Asia and more than 300 on staff, is headquartered in Beijing and works with ecommerce, travel and financial brands, among others. And, with teams launching in London, New York and San Francisco, the company is working to bring its knowledge of the Asia market to Western countries.

AdExchanger spoke to Hsieh about how U.S.-based companies can move into the China market, data management in the region and plans for iClick's expansion.

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