Login is restricted to DCN Publisher Members. If you are a DCN Member and don't have an account, register here.

Digital Content Next


InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Supply path optimization: only the best for publishers and advertisers

January 18, 2021 | By Bruce Brandfon, Chief Media Officer – Duration Media @DurationMedia

Just this past week I was buying lemon sole for dinner at our local seafood market.  My friend Joe D, the proprietor, has been running this business for more than 30 years. Yes, you will pay a premium for his tuna, crab legs, oysters and salmon. But as the saying goes: “You get what you pay for.”

Sure, Stop and Shop, Acme and even Whole Foods are cheaper. But when the family sits down to dinner it is worth that extra 10% or so to benefit from the highest quality supply path to your table. That’s the kind of optimization you can taste!

Complexity deconstructed

It occurred to me while thinking about this article that our sole meunière might be a nice way to demystify the sometimes overly complex language and the digital advertising industry’s fascination with jargon and acronyms. After all isn’t what we want just a better experience for our audiences, publishers and advertisers?

There are so many things right about the incredible content that can be discovered and enjoyed on the internet. And our industry has rightfully become the largest advertising marketplace on the planet as a result. Nevertheless, some aspects of the business are due for renovation. Apologies for extending the cuisine theme again, but let’s face it, there are too many cooks in our kitchen. We have every reason to ask ourselves why we tolerate an overabundance of SSPs who are largely undifferentiated sources of the same impressions.

Quality vs. commodity

A successful SPO strategy will benefit publishers who consistently deliver the highest quality content, engagement, audience, and impression value. Time on site, viewability, editorial excellence, desirable demographics and psychographics will be worth more to buyers. These publishers will capture share and increase revenues.

Simultaneously, we must build more effective and more efficient methods for buyers to identify, select and purchase only good, better, and best content within the internet’s marketplace of ideas. In effect, we must de-commoditize supply. This will go a long way toward eliminating fraud, increasing transparency, and reducing the non-media leakage of third-party fees.

Only buy the best

Industry leading programmatic consultancy Jounce Media states:

Supply path optimization is an emerging technique by which programmatic buyers bias their bidding toward a short list of preferred pathways that enable high scale, high efficiency inventory access.

Therefore, when shopping for the highest performing supply available buyers should pay special attention to the pathways they choose. Supply Path Optimization done right will focus on tangible qualities such as viewability, IVT and scale enabling KPIs to be met with fewer wasted impressions and greater efficiency.

About the author

Bruce Brandfon is Chief Media Officer of Duration Media. Prior to that he was EVP of Webspectator, and before that VP and Managing Director at Publicitas. Before joining Publicitas, Bruce was VP and Publisher of Scientific American. He has also held leadership positions at The Philadelphia Media Network, Newsweek, and Time Inc. Bruce is Director of the Board of Advisors at Planet Forward, and an Adjunct Professor of Media Studies at Westchester Community College.

Ping Bruce if you’d like to know more about why and how Duration Media consistently outperforms almost all other Supply Paths in the programmatic ecosystem. (And, yes, he’ll also tell you where Joe D’s fish market is.)

Liked this article?

Subscribe to the InContext newsletter to get insights like this delivered to your inbox every week.