Google VP Mohan On The Acquisition Of Sell-Side Platform Admeld

Google And AdmeldGoogle VP of Product Neal Mohan, who helps drive advertising product strategy at the company, spoke to about today’s announcement regarding the acquisition of sell-side platform Admeld. What will happen to the Admeld team post-acquisition?

NM: One of the big drivers of the acquisition is, in fact, the team.

We were incredibly impressed with the technical and engineering team in terms of the innovation they brought to the market as well as the team that works directly with the publishers – in terms of revenue consulting and the deep publisher relationships they have. So, everybody from Micheal and Brian to everybody in the  organization – it was clear that they were adding value.

It’s probably too early to speculate on the specifics of the team, but we look forward to welcoming them to Google once the deal closes. As you know, they’re primarily based in New York, but they have offices in San Francisco, London and Toronto as well.

And when does the deal close?

It’s unsure given the size – it’s going to go  through the normal regulator review and we’ll be working closely with our regulator partners to work through that process.

How would you make the case for this acquisition in light of some large publishers concerns that Google is becoming the only option for display just as it was for search?

I dispute the premise of that. It’s just absolutely not true. But as you know, the space only gets more competitive over time. Everyone has seen the LUMA slide [, for example.]

The fragmentation still makes its mind-numbingly complex for publishers to manage all of their ad management options. The Admeld technology will give them more control and efficiency – but the choices that publishers have across ad servers, ad networks, exchanges and yield managers are increasing, not decreasing. And we expect that to only continue to be the case. The space is extremely dynamic. Half of the technology we talk about today, we wouldn’t have even know existed 2 years ago. That will continue.

What does this acquisition say about real-time bidding (RTB)?

We’re big believers in real-time bidding as you know. The last time we talked, I mentioned that about 2/3 of the volume [of inventory] on our ad exchange is real-time bidded.  This acquisition, though, is more about publishers managing fixed price ad network relationships. While, of course, we imagine a significant portion of publisher demand to come in through things like RTB, this is more about capabilities that we didn’t directly provide in DFP (DoubleClick For Publishers) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Can you talk about plans around private exchanges -which Admeld has been really focused on – and then Google’s private ad slots initiative? Is there a fit between those two?

It’s probably too early to speculate on any integration possibilities because the deal hasn’t closed yet. We want to provide to our publishers the types of choices that they want to manage their inventory and demand. We’re going to keep listening to our publishers in terms of what they’re looking for.

By John Ebbert

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