SpotX Hopes ‘Curated’ Marketplaces Will Solve Video PMP Pain Points

PickPrivate marketplaces (PMP) might be great for quality assurance and brand specificities, but sometimes sacrifice scale and audience discovery. Also, they’re tough to set up.

In response to those challenges, video ad server and supply-side platform SpotX on Wednesday made a new variation of the private exchange called Curated Marketplaces generally available.

Typically, a PMP lets publishers cut deals with select advertisers around certain parameters like “high viewability” or “holiday shoppers.” But although PMPs let publishers set higher price floors, they are often secondary to a publisher’s direct sales efforts.

PMPs are also technically difficult – it’s not easy constructing a Deal ID, which is how buyers and sellers negotiate deal criteria. Consequently, PMP setups can look a lot like manual labor.

SpotX’s Curated Marketplaces are designed to reduce the number of necessary Deal IDs and improve inventory scale. It allows advertisers to buy across PMPs from different publishers and, conversely, publishers to package inventory more fluidly via Group Deal IDs. 

“Curated Marketplaces allow us to curate ‘like’ inventory and make it available to buyers under a single Group Deal ID,” said Mike Shehan, founder and CEO of SpotX. “It can be based on demographics, historical performance or many other parameters buyers and sellers want.”

Other examples of Curated Marketplaces include: high audio and video completion, sports, long-form and content tailored to moms, each on desktop and mobile, respectively.

“We effectively neutralize the risk of publisher- specific challenges creating friction in scaling private market buys,” stated Alex Merwin, VP of programmatic demand for SpotX.

In the six weeks since Curated Marketplaces went into beta, SpotX reported a rapid uptake for these arrangements, with approximately 15% of gross media traded outside of its open exchange business now running through the curated PMPs.

SpotX’s private marketplace business is a much larger part of the company’s total revenues than in the past, now representing almost an even split with open exchange deals.

In September at the DMEXCO conference in Germany, Shehan told AdExchanger that about 60% of SpotX’s programmatic revenue now came from the open marketplace while 40% was derived from PMPs.

A number of demand partners, ranging from Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to media agency Team Detroit and Omnicom’s trading desk Accuen, are already buying through Curated Marketplaces.

Mia Mulch, UK head of data and inventory for Accuen, noted the benefit of accessing multiple publishers from a single Deal ID while “maintaining the same domain-level transparency levels we expect from a one-to-one private marketplace.”

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