In a bid to simplify forecasting, billing and ad-serving reconciliation for its publisher customers, Yieldex will incorporate Ad-Juster’s ad reporting capabilities within its YieldexDirect platform. The partnership will support unified inventory forecasting and ad-serving reconciliation for the companies' joint publisher customers.
The deal is part of a trend toward wider automation of media sales, said Ad-Juster President Mike Lewis.
“Just because I’ve automated the selling process for the inventory doesn’t mean I’ve automated the billing and delivery of the inventory," he said. "[Yieldex] wants to automate all the way from the sales process to when you get paid.”
Most of YieldexDirect's publisher customers are exploring so-called "programmatic direct" for the first time, according to Yieldex CEO Andy Nibley. The company's strength has been in forecasting inventory availability for publishers.
“We’re particularly effective when they get granular in their targeting, like 18- to 34-year-old left-handed women in Kentucky,” Nibley offered as an example, and “understanding the overlaps in their inventory.”
A large buy of a geotargeted segment along with another buy of the real estate section, for example, may drain inventory. If one piece of inventory would have sold at a much higher CPM, that’s something sales needs to know. With proper forecasting, publishers can figure out exactly how much inventory they can serve in each of those microsegments, and how to maximize on price.
Ad-Juster helps reconcile numbers between different ad servers. A publisher’s ad servers and third-party ad servers rarely report the same ad volume, a problem that’s measurably worse for newer ad formats like video or mobile. Even for mature formats, Lewis sees mean underdeliveries in the 3.5% range, with a standard deviation of more than two times that number, “indicating unpredictable results.”
In layman’s terms? Publishers using blunt tools to ensure proper delivery, like tacking on an extra 10% to each campaign, may still end up exposing themselves to underdeliveries and overdeliveries, and unable to predict which campaigns are affected until too late.
Combining these abilities in forecasting and reconciliation of ad-server numbers will do more than just help with billing.
“Yieldex’s core product, inventory management, lets you know how much inventory you have and how to maximize your return,” Lewis said. “The problem is they’re making that assessment based on how many impressions are available on the publisher’s ad server,” not the third-party ad server used for billing.
“If I can tell you are going to have a 20% discrepancy," he said, "I can start to do true inventory management.”
Knowing how a campaign is delivering on a daily basis by taking both publisher ad servers and third-party ad servers into account seems like it should be standard, but Lewis said most of it’s still done by hand on a weekly or monthly basis, or through advertising operations based overseas, where it can be done cheaply and overnight. Automating this reconciliation, and bringing it back in house, simplifies needlessly complex processes.
The partnership with Ad-Juster is the first significant addition to the YieldexDirect programmatic guaranteed platform since it was unveiled in the second quarter.