This story is part of a series on publisher coalitions and co-ops around the world. Read our earlier pieces on Pangaea and the Association of Online Publishers in the UK, La Place Media in France and SouthernX in Africa.
In Greece and Romania, online publishers seeking an alternative to Google joined Project Agora, a publisher coalition led by ad-tech company TailWind and the first to launch in Southeast Europe.
Project Agora’s marketplace launched in December. In the first 60 days, it monetized 36 million impressions in Greece and 21 million impressions in Romania, where the eCPM was 0.61 euros. It's a modest volume, but the results so far are impressive.
During the launch period, click-through rates averaged .23% in Greece, and viewability averaged 62%, compared to a country average of 45%.
“Towards the end of the year, we are going to over-deliver to guaranteed 100% viewability,” according to MRC standards, said Odysseas Ntotsikas, managing director of ThinkDigital Group, TailWind's parent company.
Early buyers have included international names like Air France, Vodafone, Emirates, BMW, Mondelez and Skoda. This pleased member publishers, who rarely do direct deals with many of these large international brands.
“We knew that programmatic buying was already working in other markets in the EU and US, and that soon it would be a necessity in the Greek market as well,” said Savvas Vitalis, online media sales manager at coalition member Star.gr.
Including Star.gr, Project Agora has attracted 18 media companies with 43 websites in Greece, and eight media companies with 81 websites in Romania. It plans to expand to other countries, like Hungary and Dubai, soon.
TailWind’s parent company, ThinkDigital Group, operates a sales house in Southeast Europe, which also represents publishers like Facebook, Microsoft and Daily Motion. ThinkDigital also controls a performance marketing agency and trading desk.
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