Google VP Of Product Neal Mohan Discusses Invite Media Acquisition With AdExchanger.com

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Google On Invite Media AcquisitionAs previously noted, Google announced that it has acquired demand-side platform Invite Media for a rumored $40-81 million depending on who you talk to.  In a post on the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog, VP of Product Neal Mohan said:

"The team at Invite Media has developed technology that enables advertisers and agencies to use “real time bidding” to buy display ad space, and to optimize display ad campaigns, across multiple advertising exchanges, all in a single interface."

Later in the post, Mohan addressed specific plans including the integration of Invite Media technology into  DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad serving product.   He added, "Invite Media’s platform will of course continue to be available to any agency or advertiser, whether they use DFA or not."

Mohan discussed with AdExchanger.com a few of the questions swirling in regards to today's acquisition of Invite Media.

AdExchanger.com: Regarding today's announcement where you state: "We're going to continue to invest significantly in improving Invite Media's technology and products as a separate platform and, in time, make it work seamlessly with our DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad serving product." How is Google going to insure that Invite Media's DSP technology does not have unfair advantage in the DoubleClick Ad exchange?

Quite simply, it's going to be treated like any other AdX buyer.  We have extremely strong credentials and a proven track record in this area, dating from the DoubleClick acquisition.

DFA is a neutral technology that manages advertisers' reservations-based display campaigns across websites and networks. Just as we've done with DFA, we'll maintain Invite's neutrality through its product development process and strict customer contracts, and client service being through the DFA team.

Invite Media will have the same access to Ad Exchange inventory as other DSPs and ad networks (like AdWords today). Openness and neutrality are the fundamental principles of our model.

We remain committed to providing open and neutral access to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and to our real-time bidding API to all partners, including DSPs.  This includes an unwavering level of service and support for all of our strategic DSP partners.

We believe that this approach is most consistent with our open approach to display and will be most effective in growing the display pie for all participants.

Why should other ad exchanges and inventory sources continue to give Invite Media inventory now that they are part of Google?  The thought could be that Google could end up seeing more inventory and disintermediate the exchanges.

Definitely not part of the plan.  Invite will be like other DSPs that enable buying ad space across multiple exchanges and platforms.  Obviously, we can't speak for other exchanges, but Invite Media represents significant demand and is a very strong partner and we hope those relationships will continue.  Our acquisition is a big validation of this space and we want to work with all exchanges and inventory sources to grow the overall ecosystem in a way that benefits everyone - publishers, advertisers and agencies, other demand side platforms and exchanges.

Do you view real-time bidding as the new open standard for biddable digital media?

You won't be surprised to hear that we're massive evangelists.  We managed to speak to many in the industry yesterday before we announced this and people saw this being a massive vote of confidence in the real-time bidding ecosystem.  It's very early days but real time bidding is clearly becoming a central part of advertisers' and agencies' media buying strategies. We're investing in AdX's real time bidder, Invite's buyer platform and we've got a very ambitious roadmap on the sell-side side too, to help major publishers take better advantage of the real-time trend.

What do you say to your media buying partners - such as agencies - that are concerned Google is already too powerful in the advertising relationship?

We actually haven't heard that concern - to the contrary, agencies are excited about the possibilities of bringing Google's technology to Invite's bidding platform.  Many of them actually asked us to make this exact sort of investment.  This acquisition actually will empower agencies.  Just like DFA helps agencies manage and optimize reservations-based display campaigns across websites and networks,  Invite will help them manage and optimize auction-based campaigns across exchanges.

Does the Invite Media technology or a version of it get looped into AdWords at some point?

There are no plans for that right now.

What happens to the Invite Media team?  Will Nat Turner continue to lead the development of the Invite Media DSP?

We bought Invite because we like their technology and we like their team. Nat and team will continue to be central to leading development on the platform.

By John Ebbert

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