Prisa Group Grows Toward Programmatic Opportunity

prisa-programmaticAs more money flows programmatically, Prisa Group and other publishers are changing their sales organizations and ad products to focus on serving data-driven buyers.

Prisa Group owns or represents media brands in 22 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. Its properties, including El País and the sports site AS, reach 25 million unique users. It also serves as the Spanish sales house for international brands such as Vevo.

Programmatic revenue increased 58% over the past year, accounting for 15% of all digital revenue.

“Since we started heavily investing in programmatic resources over the past two years, we have been seeing high increases in prices,” said Chief Digital Revenue Officer Chechu Lasheras. “We are focused not just on the open environment, but building up a premium marketplace.”

That migration to programmatic will only accelerate. In 2017, Prisa Group to double its premium programmatic deals, which will further increase pricing. This year, for example, prices rose 67% and premium programmatic deals grew 55%.

Seizing the programmatic opportunity over the past two years meant going through a laundry list of changes. Prisa Group participated in a publisher alliance, PMPMedios, which offers a scaled alternative to Google in the Spanish market and protects against the downward pricing pressure that programmatic can produce.

To ensure it knew how to serve programmatic buyers, Prisa Group also hired talent from agency trading desks. Prisa also tweaked the basics, such as renegotiating its contracts with supply-side platforms.

With a solid foundation in place, Prisa Group is now branching out.

The publisher launched a trading desk in November to serve buyers. Using AppNexus and Google technology, Prisa is working with clients who want to extend the reach of their campaigns. Prisa uses its own data or third-party data to target campaigns for direct-response clients, though it’s starting to add in branding campaigns.

Prisa organizes its data in two places.

Its DMP, Krux, stores information about Prisa’s audiences that can be used for segmentation. That data is also funneled into Prisa’s larger data lake, which will be used by Prisa’s data science team to extend its advertising capabilities and speed up overall information processing.

Because Prisa expects premium programmatic deals to grow 200-300% over the next year, Lasheras is expanding Prisa’s current two-person programmatic team to include salespeople, ad ops and yield management staff specializing in programmatic opportunities.

“Next year, we are planning to have a 10-person team pushing for programmatic,” he said. “And all our salespeople will be trained to push private deals and private auctions.”

While programmatic is growing swiftly in Spain, the Latin American market hasn’t had its breakout moment yet. Trust, transparency and quality hamper buyers from expanding budgets, Lasheras said, so Prisa shares its insights about programmatic and hopes adoption follows.

“We are more in a phase of evangelizing in the Latin American market, and that was our status in the Spanish market two to three years ago,” Lasheras said. “We are pushing the market to activate more demand.”

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