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The Big Story: The Sorta SSP


Consolidation in programmatic is taking many forms. Acquisitions, bankruptcies and mergers are reducing the number of DSPs and SSPs; supply-path optimization is cutting down reselling, which means less companies are touching each impression; and DSPs are going direct to publishers, while SSPs are going straight to buyers.

Yahoo is the latest example in the trend. In February, it shut down its SSP; in June, it launched Backstage – a direct path to publishers and a sorta SSP – which follows in the footsteps of Magnite ClearLine, PubMatic Activate and The Trade Desk’s OpenPath.

Then, we discuss a host of new ecommerce ad metrics, from ACOS to TROAS to TACOS, along with the newly popular tactic of cost capping.

Cost caps allow advertisers to state their goal, such as spending up to $20 to acquire a new customer, and let Meta and Google spend to their heart’s content, as long as they stay under that number. The technique lets brands take advantage of surges, such as an influencer mention or TV appearance that spurs interest in the brand. But it can also go off the rails.

These techniques favor digital or direct-to-consumer brands with a strong read on customer-acquisition costs. While brands rich in first-party data point toward these metrics, what does it mean for everyone else?


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