CPAX Adds Four Publishers, Runs 1 Billion Impressions A Month

CPAX Growth SpurtThe Canadian publisher coalition CPAX officially added four new publishers (Metroland Media, Winnipeg Free Press, St. Joseph Media and Blue Ant Media) on Monday, bringing the publisher total to 18 and expanding CPAX’s presence on the West Coast.

Impression volume has also doubled since Index Exchange helped relaunch it last year: One billion impressions flowed through the platform last month.

Via CPAX, marketers can reach 20 million of the 34 million Canadians.

The new publishers are joining because CPAX offers premium CPMs over the open exchange without the fear of low-quality ads. Buyers on CPAX join on an invitation-only basis, which helps winnow away unsavory advertisers.

“All of us invest millions in quality content,” said Sandra Kukreja, VP of digital media for Winnipeg Free Press. “There’s nothing worse than having a horrid teeth-whitening ad that depletes the user experience.”

Because of the quality of advertisers CPAX brings in, St. Joseph Media director of digital sales Scott Atkinson views it as a way for the publisher to dip its toe into premium programmatic.

“My PMP [private marketplace] is in its infancy stage,” Atkinson said. “It helps the visibility of my publication to be included in that group.” He uses CPAX data to decide which buyers he wants to work with directly.

The Winnipeg Free Press finds that advertisers running through CPAX tend to be complementary to direct campaigns, so Kukreja doesn’t block any advertisers that might also be running direct campaigns with the newspaper.

“When you talk about local advertisers in Winnipeg versus the national ones coming in through CPAX, they can be the same brand, but often they’re completely different campaigns from a financial standpoint,” Kukreja said.

While CPAX was meant to drive CPM growth, it’s unclear if that’s actually happening. As per CPAX rules, publishers can see their CPMs individually, but not collectively, so it’s impossible to know if CPMs are rising throughout. Index Exchange did not supply CPM data for CPAX.

St. Joseph Media, for instance, said it was seeing month-over-month improvements since it first tested CPAX. But Winnipeg Free Press didn’t have usable data, because a redesign made it difficult to gauge any revenue impact.

Based on where a CPAX publisher places the demand in its ad stack or how many impressions it fills via CPAX, revenue can vary, explained Jeff MacPherson, director of monetization at CBC – a founding publisher of CPAX.

The next boost to CPAX will likely happen in early 2016, when the group adds mobile app and mobile web inventory to the mix.

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