For Turner, Faster Data Means More Efficient Pricing

Turner’s revenue analytics team wasn’t always quickly able to answer questions like whether the presidential inauguration affected advertising revenue.

The publisher couldn’t collate data more than weekly or monthly because it worked with more than a dozen programmatic partners, each with their own user interfaces, which supplied ads across Turner’s multiple sites – from CNN to Bleacher Report to Adult Swim. So Turner couldn’t respond to its own data until well after a trend was in motion.

But since Turner brought on Staq, which simplifies programmatic revenue analytics, in November 2015, it has looked at data daily.

“Finding out how well we did for the inauguration for desktop display, video and mobile app would take us hours,” said Gerry Dorsainvil, senior digital strategic planning manager at Turner. “Now it takes two minutes.”

Turner’s revenue analytics team can quickly pull up and analyze CPM trends and pass on that information to direct and programmatic teams, which helps those teams make decisions more quickly.

One benefit for its direct sales team is that it can make its pricing more dynamic, especially in video.

“We’ve been in the practice of pointing to the programmatic market to understand our CPM pricing,” Dorsainvil said, especially in the supply-constrained video market. “If the programmatic video CPM is closing at a higher CPM [than direct], we may need to bring up the rate card, because the market is saying they are willing to pay more.”

Turner is also using Staq to analyze performance across different video delivery mediums, like on-demand or over-the-top, and different ad formats like midroll. How each area performs informs strategic decisions about where Turner will focus its growth efforts.

And Staq has given salespeople more data to inform conversations with advertisers who may already be spending programmatically with Turner.

“Programmatic is a black hole. There are hundreds of thousands of advertisers spending with us,” Dorsainvil said. “Before Staq, no one understood what advertisers were spending, and there would be issues with naming conventions.”

Now, names of advertisers across different platforms are automatically combined into a single, holistic view. And whenever a new question pops up from the direct or programmatic teams, Turner’s revenue analytics team is more likely to be able to answer it.

“There are a lot of questions coming in we couldn’t give answers to before,” Dorsainvil said. “Now the answer is sure, just give me five minutes.”

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