Centro Adds Private Marketplace To Brand Exchange

Centro PMPCentro launched a private marketplace within its ad exchange on Tuesday.

Although Centro Brand Exchange was already an exclusive, invitation-only auction house, the private marketplace enables advertisers to purchase premium inventory in unique formats, such as 300×600, and in places that had previously been unavailable, such as on homepages.

It also allows selected trading desks and DSPs to make buys based on location or content categories like personal finance or sports. For the latter, Centro worked with publishers to classify content.

“For hotel and auto brands, we’re complementing the national campaigns with local campaigns aligned to the DMAs [designated market areas]. That’s where the rubber meets the road: being able to see that local site and then add the targeted DMA and the data on top of that,” said Dean Vegliante, GM of Netmining, a Centro client whose audience targeting platform includes a DSP to buy inventory on exchanges like Centro.

Centro’s Brand Exchange has 1,400 premium publishers, like Tribune, McClatchy and Metro.us. One criterion to ensure quality is that the sites employ and pay writers. That inventory has received a 95% rating on Trust Metrics, Centro SVP of publisher development Katie Risch said, which is twice the industry average among ad networks and exchanges.

While Centro’s private marketplace does not enable one-to-one transactions between publishers and buyers, Risch said she expects to add this capability by the end of 2014.

The private marketplace can give higher CPMs to smaller publishers who may not “have the scale to attract demand with an RTB private marketplace,” Risch said.

For Netmining, however, the scale of having a private “one-to-many” relationship is more efficient than relationships with individual publishers.

“With carving out inventory, you pay more, but you get increased efficiencies,” Vegliante said, adding that clients also get access to inventory that’s truly premium.

Private marketplaces have received mixed reviews by early buyers and sellers. One problem is that too many targeting layers can reduce scale.

According to Risch, Centro is aware of these complaints and is addressing some of these issues for its product: “We’re layering our recommendations to make sure the campaigns deliver,” she said.

Others have complained about Deal ID. “Centro’s roots are direct, IO [insertion order]-type inventory,” Risch said. “So we have a service layer in place that a lot of DSPs don’t have. It makes it easier for those involved to manage Deal ID the way they’ve had to manage their direct business.”

With campaigns still going live and in early days, Netmining is monitoring the Centro’s private marketplace to determine what to do next. “We’re optimistic about the initial results,” Vegliante said. “We’re going to continue to find more quality inventory at scale.”

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