Crossing Borders: Leveraging Programmatic To Monetize Global Audiences

ryankenneyData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Ryan Kenney, vice president of platform services at SpotX.

The internet levels the playing field for media, lending the power to publish, distribute and reach audiences to almost anyone. For Big Media, this democratization disrupts the control they once enjoyed, making it hard for them to capture the audiences needed to supplement the decline of traditional revenue streams.

But it also makes a media property’s brand even more important. With the consumer free to access the sources they know, like or trust, wherever in the world they may be published, a strong reputation for quality content drives traffic for publishers more than ever before.

We’re seeing big media brands start to leverage this fact by looking across borders to grow their audience share. In fact, according to research conducted by EY in February and March this year, 33% of media and entertainment companies will look to international marketplaces as part of their core business in 2016, while 46% will invest in acquisition strategies to tap the global market.

However, the task of monetizing international audiences is not as straightforward as securing eyeballs. Scaling ad buys in new markets requires investment in resources, both in understanding each market’s nuances and developing relationships with local buyers and their reps. It’s here that programmatic approaches can lend a hand.

Managing Relationships On A Global Scale

Managing relationships on a global scale adds multiple layers of complexity for publishers, as access points for ad partners increase exponentially. Without local presences to drive supply marketing and buyer relationships, the task of optimizing yield is extremely difficult.

Programmatic approaches enable publishers to access more buyers than before, and when coupled with demand facilitation services from a global network, a ready-made pool of international buyers can be opened up. Partners with a local presence will be able to bridge communication gaps across teams and regions to coordinate sales approaches and drive relationship growth with programmatic buyers.

Similarly, buyers often want as few relationships to manage as possible. They often have fragmented internal teams, which can present a hurdle when working to scale a global purchase agreement. The efficiencies of programmatic buying can help advertisers hit value, scale and reach goals for audiences globally. It gives them a unified point of access to simplify audience recognition, campaign management and billing.

Extracting Maximum Value

Many publishers dip their toes into international waters by enlisting the aid of third-party resellers to handle monetization. In doing so, they forgo access to the full breadth of scaling options and potentially risk devaluation of their inventory by relinquishing control of brand and pricing. Additionally, publishers enlisting this method forego the opportunity to create long-lasting, direct buyer relationships, with foundations deeper than the implementation of a VAST tag.

Other considerations when looking at international markets include market-by-market factors such as data laws and competition regulation. Again, local support and the flexibility to tailor deal structure will be key for publishers addressing these challenges.

Combining technology with human-to-human relationships can unlock the ability to maximize ad revenue across digital properties, screens and countries, without the need of an international sales team. In the race for digital dollars, the chance to go global is quite literally a new frontier for old and new media alike.

Follow SpotX (@SpotX) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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