Pubmatic’s Rajeev Goel Talks Yield Optimization

Yield Optimization - PubmaticRajeev Goel is CEO and Co-Founder of yield optimizer, Pubmatic based in Palo Alto, California. How many participating publishers does Pubmatic have?

Rajeev: We have over 5,500 large and medium publishers using PubMatic including eBay, Kiplinger , Inc./Fast Company, Sugar Network, United Press International, and many more.

What is your target publisher market? Can any publisher participate?

We work with mostly large publishers in high value verticals. We recently launched PubMatic Premier, which brings a new level of technology and service to large media companies with over $5 million in online revenue.

We also do let smaller publishers use our self-service platform to help them manage their pre-established networks because it provides value to them and it gives us a huge amount of rich data that we use to enhance our technology and publisher revenue lift.

Do you consider your company’s model full-service or self-service?

Weʼre a full-service company, and full-service is where we provide the biggest benefit to pubs. Our PubMatic Premier offering gives large pubs a dedicated team of six people that learns the specific needs of that publisher and provides a range of support. There is a Strategic Partnership Manager, who is the main day-to-day point of contact that leads an experienced team to focus on performance, ad network relationships, yield, analytics and 24/7 technical solutions support.

What are the advantages of a yield optimization company?

In general, publishers are struggling with managing the fragmented demand for their non-premium inventory. They spend a significant amount of time managing ad networks and other non-premium relationships, disproportionate to the revenue they generate from these relationships. PubMatic turns this reality on its head on behalf of publishers, by solving a few key challenges very well that lead to 30% – 70% higher publisher revenue and significant ad operations benefits:

    1) We help publishers navigate the massive number of ad networks out there. Publishers get pitched by ad networks non-stop, and it is sometimes difficult for them to distinguish between a good sales pitch and what is really best for them. So a very large part of our service is providing our ad network expertise so we can provide them with the optimal mix of
    networks that is going to perform the best for them – and that means for both revenue and that fits their creative needs best.

    2) Once we get them set up with the right networks, our ad price prediction engine determines how each ad network is pricing the publisherʼs inventory in real time. We examine every impression uniquely and route it to the ad network that can best monetize the impression. By looking at dozens of parameters and predicting pricing in real time, we are able to drive significantly higher revenue for the publisher.

    3) In addition to the revenue-generating technology, we provide publishers with a variety of services to simplify ad operations. We provide consolidated revenue reports, consolidated billing, and ad quality controls to protect the publisherʼs brand. All of these services allow the publisher to allocate their ad operations resources to higher value premium

What are the advantages of your company’s offerings among all the yield optimization companies?

I outlined it pretty well above and I donʼt want to get too much into the marketing pitch here because the readers of this site know this space on a much greater level than the general public. I will admit that there are similarities in service between PubMatic, Rubicon Project and AdMeld (not really YieldEx as you sometimes mention), but I fully believe that our technology is superior.

Weʼre transparent about our technology and we publish whitepapers to show people our technology is not just marketing – it works, and it allows us to provide ongoing, scalable revenue lift. It would be extremely difficult for another company to catch up to us on this level because with machine learning it continues to improve based on the data it collects, and we also continue to put a great deal of resources into advancing it. We were the first company in this space by almost a year, and in that time we built the largest engineering team focused on this problem (over 30 people), so we have a massive advantage to technology and see that as a key differentiator.

We have another white paper coming out in the next two weeks on our solution that maps the relationship between frequency and eCPM for a particular ad network and then automatically allocates impressions for the most yield. Iʼll give you an advanced copy.

Explain your company’s revenue model.

We charge publishers a percentage of the revenue that we optimize and manage on their behalf.

Can advertisers or ad networks buy through your company?

We do not work directly with advertisers, but our AdFlex solution allows ad networks to buy directly through us very easily. We offer ad networks flexible inventory on demand, in a way that meets their media buying needs and provides publishers with added revenue lift. Earlier this year, we extended AdFlex with an open API that makes it even easier for ad networks to buy, with a wealth of customized targeting options. AdFlex has been a very big success for both the ad networks that need to fulfill campaigns and publishers who love it because of the revenue lift they receive.

If not, will either of these two be able to purchase through your company someday?

Well, like any smart company, we hope to always be evolving in order to meet the needs of the market and our clients. Right now, weʼre entirely focused on perfecting what weʼre already doing.

What kinds of inventory are you “optimizing”? Static display, text? Rich media? Video?

We optimize all types of display ads – whether its text, banner, rich media, or ads in video players.

How do you see advertising exchanges impacting your business now and in the future?

Exchanges provide publishers with another option for monetizing their ad
inventory. Weʼre excited about connecting with ad exchanges to offer this to our publisher clients. In fact, we have already partnered with one of the largest ad exchanges, Right Media, to offer the wealth of networks on that exchange to our publishers.

Can your yield optimization service be integrated with other ad management platforms?

We have integrated with other ad management platforms. For example, we have
open APIs for integrating with ad networks and buy-side dashboards. We have
integrated with various exchanges, as previously mentioned. We have XMLenabled our publisher reports, so they can be readily integrated into publishersʼ portals and other ad management platforms.

Where do you see your company’s product line evolving in the next 18-
24 months?

We are focused in a few key areas:

    1. Continuing to drive the industryʼs best technology with respect to optimizing a publisherʼs inventory for maximum revenue lift.
    2. Additional services for publishers, to make managing their non-premium inventory increasingly easier.
    3. Expanding our portfolio of ad network offerings – going beyond the few hundred that we already offer to provide even more ad networks.

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