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Here’s how to maximize the value of your PMP

July 30, 2018 | By Mike Kim, VP Product Management, Optimization—Integral Ad Science @integralads

For publishers, programmatic offers the opportunity to monetize and package inventory more efficiently than traditional direct deals. For some, it is a place to more effectively sell run of site (ROS) inventory. Others place blocks of premium inventory up for auction to generate revenue without the time, expense, and overhead of negotiating a direct sale. However, while programmatic has opened the door to greater efficiency and a new stream of incremental revenue, it’s also created challenges for premium publishers who want to protect user experience and exercise some control over the type of creative that appears on their pages.

For a growing number of publishers, this means turning to private marketplaces (PMPs). PMPs offer the efficiency of programmatic exchanges in a more controlled environment for premium advertisers. In this post, we’ll attempt to offer some tips to help publishers take advantage of what PMPs have to offer. But first, just what is a private marketplace and how is it different from an open exchange?

What’s a PMP?

Private Marketplaces are exclusive inventory packages offered to buyers via a deal ID. This Deal ID acts as a key to a private auction, or automated access to an inventory pool with pre-negotiated terms. PMPs make it easier for publishers, sell-side platforms (SSPs), and networks to set aside specific inventory packages and sell them to a pre-defined group of buyers. For advertisers, PMPs offer access to premium inventory in a closed environment before it’s made available to the open market.

Through a PMP, publishers can work more directly with advertisers without sacrificing the efficiency of programmatic automation. They also offer publishers the opportunity to build tailored packages of premium inventory and bundled custom audiences, which can fetch a higher price from advertisers than the same inventory might elicit on an open exchange. Most importantly in the age of ad blocking, PMPs give publishers a chance to offer their inventory to a vetted selection of premium advertisers. This ensures that quality content is matched with quality ad creative that won’t compromise user experience.

A PMP can be built and curated by a single publisher, or parent company of premium publishers, and can offer different deal types including first-look offerings or pre-negotiated rates. Supply-side platforms (SSPs), on the other hand, provide premium publishers with lower scale for video with an opportunity to monetize their inventory at a higher CPM by grouping it with like properties. Often how the deals are packaged and the specific inventory they contain can impact publishers’ bottom line. Below are some best practices for maximizing the value of your PMP.

Tips to make the most of your PMP

Use an automated solution to optimize for viewability

A growing number of buyers are turning to PMPs to meet stringent viewability requirements. Major media-buying powerhouse Group M has gone so far as to release its own custom viewability standards, which are more rigorous than those of the MRC. Inventory that meets these more rigorous standards is the gateway to securing advertising dollars from premium brands like Unilever and Volvo. Optimizing your inventory to meet those viewability demands and building PMP packages around viewability thresholds is a great way to maximize incremental revenue and ensure that you’re able to charge buyers for the true value of your inventory.

Optimize for brand safety to score global brand dollars

A tumultuous news cycle, the rise of fake news, and the proliferation of unsafe content on social platforms has led to a major industry-wide focus on brand safety. Buyers across the board have prioritized brand-safe inventory for their digital campaigns to avoid finding themselves on the wrong side of a social media mob. UM Worldwide recently appointed a global brand safety officer, elevating the challenge of finding brand safe inventory to the C-suite. However, brand safety is subjective. Different brands have different sensitivities, and different regions have different ideas of what constitutes a risky placement. Using an optimization tool to create content category packages allows publishers to capture diverse brands and global advertiser dollars with their featured content.

Work directly with buyers to understand their needs

PMPs combine the efficiency of a programmatic transaction with the intimacy and trust of a direct deal. That means the publishers who value user experience can control which advertising partners have access to their inventory. However, that communication and vetting is a two-way street. Work directly with the buyers participating in your private marketplace to identify their needs. Just because your PMP focuses on high-viewability inventory packages doesn’t mean that advertisers aren’t also looking for packages that are low in fraud. Understanding these needs and packaging your inventory toward them can provide a competitive advantage in securing additional premium brand dollars.

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