With publishers increasingly looking for alternative ways to monetize their unsold inventory, the "private exchange" model is beginning to take hold as publishers can better control who the buyer of their inventory is on the other side of the exchange. Today, The Weather Channel and its online megasite, weather.com, announced that it has chosen AdMeld to provide "private exchange" services. Read the release.
Beth Lawrence, EVP of Ad Sales & Media Solutions at The Weather Channel Companies discussed their publisher-side perspective and the selection of AdMeld's platform.
AdExchanger.com: What brought The Weather Channel to the point where it thought it needed a private exchange solution?
BL: With an audience of about 50 million unique distributed across multiple channels, The Weather Channel is one of the world’s largest cross-platform media companies. What this platform allows us to do is aggregate that valuable audience into a single platform that makes it easier for advertisers to buy and easier for us to dictate the terms of sale. As agencies increasingly shift budgets toward programmatic buying, the ability to analyze, package and sell our audience intelligently, and in concert with our direct sales team, will be invaluable. Though this type of solution isn’t for every publisher, we believe it be standard for publishers of our scale and market position.
What criteria did you use in picking a partner to provide a solution?
We chose AdMeld to power our private exchange because they offer a handful of strong capabilities in one platform. First, from a technology point of view they give us the ability to understand the composition and value of our audience in real time, and the ability to package our audience and set granular controls against how it’s bought. Second, they have integrated connections to every major buyer giving us access to maximum demand. And third, they have a team that really understands our business as publishers, shares our vision about the future of the space, and is eager to partner with us to innovate as the landscape continues to shift.
Can you discuss how guaranteed and non-guaranteed inventory work together as part of an overall online ad strategy? Is it difficult to manage the two for fear of channel conflict or other challenges?
The key to eliminating channel conflict is control—control of how each impression is sold, to whom, and for how much. The large, general ad exchanges don’t offer these types of controls because they weren’t designed for publishers, but the private exchange model does. Not only can we intelligently set floors and blocks to protect our sales team’s efforts, but AdMeld’s technology enables us to mine the RTB stream for market data on which audience segments are most in demand, and by what individual advertisers. These deeper audience insights allow us to provide intelligent programmatic and advertiser solutions going forward.
By John Ebbert