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Large Ad Network CEO does 'Back-flip' on RTB Marketplace?

Jan. 24, 2011 8:08 PM ET2 Comments
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Here's a "back-flip" if ever there was one, I believe. [CPX CEO on The Possibilities and Myths Surrounding RTB] - An Ad Network of note, CPX Interactive buys approximately one billion impressions daily.

< We believe that the idea [the permitting of publishers to auction off their traffic to a highest bidder in milliseconds, while allowing advertisers ...... to pick and choose the audience that they want to buy in those same milliseconds] may well be the future of the industry and that, one day RTB may just become mainstream enough that all impressions on every site will be up for bids.

That point, however, could be a number of years away. - In the meantime we will keep playing with the idea, testing some of the available inventory and keeping the industry informed on our results.>

Prior to the above (in that linked article), he says:

< CPX Interactive buys approximately one billion impressions daily.  If we assume that each of these 20 networks on average do about the same then, the next 20 billion impressions a day are accounted for, leaving the remainder for Exchange/RTB space? So what is likely to be the quality of the impressions bought thru the RTB model?

[Note: A contradiction in itself, when targeting 'users' on an impression by impression basis. As it then doesn't matter where the impression is being presented, within the marketplace.]

I agree that it is ironic that while having built my company’s foundation fighting the ‘value in remnant’ fight, I must now make the argument that advertisers simply are not interested in inventory so far down the chain, but the truth is that the scars from that fight give me the perspective to know that it is true. - RTB inventory is simply not attractive enough to advertisers yet to make it a scalable and efficient primary way for the industry to do business.

Yet, back in November he (CPX's CEO, Mike Seiman) clearly talks of 'drilling down to audience targeting', in this (2.15) video, here:


He even mentions that the biggest thing "this year" (2010), has been  ... 'the commodotisation of audiences'.. and, that ...'while we are not using all that's available [technology wise] yet, from the ground up .... the idea that they're there, I think, is new and innovative, this year - it's going to bring the efficiencies and ROI that we've promised, over the past 10 years'.

WHY then, the 'back-flip' (in now saying that .. 'RTB inventory is simply not attractive enough' .... etc), from the initial blog-post above? - It's very simple and the answer (besides cutting out expensive Ad Network costs, alone)  is just about told here below, as is contained within this January 05, 2011 blog: [From The Vault:: Retargeting, An Overview]


Ad-based retargeting

In addition to being placed within the code of a website or landing page, a pixel can be placed within the html code of an actual ad. This allows a client to identify and retarget any user that has seen, or clicked, on a specific ad.

One powerful way to use this tool is to identify users on a “premium” or “high profile” website (where CPMs may be high) and to then reach the same user again at a significantly lower cost on sites across the web.

After all, the user that sees your ad on “Cars.com” will soon be visiting his favorite social network or game site…why not tag him and retarget him there as well?

It's clear that CPX Interactive will be a survivor when the Looksmart RTB marketplace, is fully activated. Many Ad Networks will not survive as the existing bigger exchanges, etc will (I feel), ALL be brought together into the (a) single marketplace.

Publishers of worth will embrace the real (RTB) possibility of much higher returns for remnant inventory and a real plethora of advertisers, for starters. Cutting out a layer of current costs (with Ad Networks) mean additional payment for publishers.

When advertiser will then have to compete in a 'blind' auction at scale (where the above choice 'users' may well be bought - with re-targeting), yet individually, sites will NOT be made available for such type 'cherry picking' (as is/has been suggested), for it to become such a practice.

Publishers will THEN, finally receive a more stronger (eCPM or, PPC) payment, with all advertisers bidding blind against each other across the total (global) marketplace buying their ('choice') respective, 'target users' or, audiences. - And (I ask), why wouldn't publishers (of note) welcome such an opportunity?

What if?
LOOK: 3:59PM EST: $1.70  Up 0.05 (+3.03%)


Disclosure: Long LOOK and happy to be so.

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