IBT Media Wants To Double Programmatic Revenue This Year

IBT MediaIBT Media – publisher of International Business Times, Latin Times and Newsweek – plans to grow programmatic revenue from 30% to 60% by the end of this year.

It first started selling programmatically last May and plans to fuel growth by adding programmatic direct to the mix through Rubicon and Sonobi. Buyers can purchase through programmatic direct now.

“Our strategy is to push programmatic as far as we can,” said Ana Browne, the company’s programmatic sales director.

Yet IBT Media is not known as a programmatic premium player. It’s often remembered more for its heavy ad loads, autoplay video and focus on SEO.

Redefining itself as a premium content provider to buyers is still a work in progress, but one aided by its acquisition of Newsweek, which compared to its flagship publication IBTimes tends to have fewer ads per page.

“We have a huge team of editors and writers to create a very good product, and we care about usability,” Browne said. “The challenge is to let the market know how good we are with the product.”

Adding automated guaranteed orders, in which buyers purchase publisher brand association instead of audience, could add a premium veneer to IBT Media’s programmatic strategy.

Browne is working on educating the sales force on the programmatic direct offering.

“We’re giving them the possibility to go to market not just through IOs,” she said. ”They can get a commission with programmatic the same way they do through direct.”

Buyers of programmatic direct will have access to first-party segments based on reading behavior, created through DoubleClick for Publishers. Buyers can also purchase premium ad units, like IAB Rising Star units, on any section of IBT Media’s various sites. “There is no segmentation of inventory,” Browne said.

Overall, IBT Media is embracing programmatic because it sees its importance to buyers. “We understand programmatic is the best solution for the buyers right now, and we want to give them the best technology to give them the best performance,” she said of the publisher’s efforts.

Browne de-emphasizes IBTimes’ presence on open marketplaces, saying it prefers to set higher floor prices for open marketplaces that it thinks represent the value of its inventory.

Networks hold greater value than open marketplaces. “Some networks have great brands and great CPMs,” Browne said.

To allow its mix of direct, network and now programmatic direct buys deliver optimally through the site, IBT Media uses Google’s dynamic allocation product. It allows all the deals to compete against each other to yield the best price, while still following additional rules the publisher sets up.

Having that dynamic allocation solution in place will aid IBT Media as it adds its programmatic direct solution to its mix of offerings to buyers.

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  1. There isn’t a web site I have encountered that serves as many ads per page as IBT’s site — no wonder they plan to increase programmatic while they continue to lose readers — this site is a horror show and any buyer who runs ads on that site is wasting their client’s dollars regardless of the price they pay.

  2. Rena Levi

    I never visit any IBT article anymore because I can’t handle the autoplay videos. I don’t understand why IBT think it’s a good idea to electronically assault their website visitors with it.