“We’re not going after the long tail, ad network-style,” Faircliff said.
Faircliff doesn’t intend the exchange to compete with Pangaea, but to offer more options for consolidated buying in premium environments.
Pangaea, whose member publishers include the Guardian, CNN International, Reuters and the Financial Times, focuses on business news and will have a global scope.
In contrast, the AOP-led alliance will focus on UK inventory from a more diverse set of UK publishers.
The organization is still working on setting up floor prices, a block list and inventory contribution requirements. It’s likely many publishers will aim on contributing 10% of their inventory to the alliance.
“At launch, we are simply committing to a percentage of inventory to test the concept,” Dear said. “It will be quality inventory, but primarily sold to tier-two clients.”
The consortium participants also want to avoid conflict with direct sales efforts. “We will continue to sell the majority of our inventory [directly],” Dear said. Haymarket does some business with ad networks and programmatic, but “we are also very reluctant to open up our inventory to the agency trading desks in any meaningful way due to the lack of control it gives us over our business and the low pricing currently available in the market.”
The AOP alliance will only work if the group grows revenues more effectively than Haymarket would solo, delivering on the idea of “offering premium, brand-safe inventory to our clients at scale and in working with agencies around improved measurement and attribution models,” Dear said.
Publisher data will eventually be available for buyers, including the ability to buy contextually – like against automotive content.
The alliance doesn’t expect difficulties sourcing demand for the marketplace. “This has significant support from the buy side,” Faircliff said, citing public support from Havas, Xaxis and Adallect. “This is not just a publisher-led initiative, but an industry-led initiative.”
“Agencies have for some time wanted access to our premium, quality inventory to help mitigate and reassure clients around these very real and very valid concerns [about fraud and bot traffic],” Dear added.