AdExchanger.com caught up with Invite Media COO Nat Turner about the announcement and its implications.
AdExchanger.com: What factors went into choosing to expand in the UK as opposed to other countries?
NT: The UK is a natural first move for us beyond North America. To start, we've actually had existing customers in the UK and Europe for some time now, so it was it made sense us to look to have a physical presence in the region.
Second, agencies and media buyers in the UK and Europe have really started to think strongly about how they should take advantage of the transformation that's occurring in the industry by way of ad exchanges and demand-side platforms. We really enjoy working with companies who understand what's happening in the industry and can adapt/change quickly, and we've started to see that in the UK and Europe more so than other regions. Lastly, and more fundamentally, the exchanges themselves are much more developed in the UK and Europe than they are in other regions. That is a clear underlying requirement for this to be feasible, so it's encouraging to see the exchanges and UK/European publishers evolving quickly to serve the real demand that starting to flow.
AdExchanger.com: In terms of targeting UK audience on behalf of advertisers through the Invite Media platform, are you considering direct-to-UK-publisher deals or will you buy UK audience through aggregators (yield optimizers), exchanges, networks, etc.?
NT: That is a great question. While the exchanges are evolving faster in the UK and Europe than they are in other regions, their reach and scale in the UK and Europe no doubt pales in comparison to North America. I think it is inevitable that we look to work with every potential source of inventory over time if the exchanges and aggregators aren't able to capture the entire supply pie, but our initial launch partners are the ad exchanges and publisher aggregators (and we'd like to see it continue down that path).
One thing I will say is that Invite Media is squarely not in the business of taking media risk. Every impression that flows through the system was purchased on behalf of an advertiser at that time with an active campaign targeting that impression. Clients using the platform also have the ability to create their own relationships with publishers and pipe in inventory directly, which I think we'll probably see more of internationally.
AdExchanger.com: What key difference(s) are you seeing at this early stage between UK and US digital media buying?
NT: We haven't seen too many noticeable differences in the types of campaigns that are being run yet, other than that UK and European campaigns are conspicuously following the same pattern and trends than North America experienced several years ago. For example, we're seeing a lot of "Brand DR" campaigns initially (campaigns with clear measurable goals that also have a significant brand component), which is to be expected. One of the biggest differences that I believe will evolve over time will be centered around the laws and regulations of the region and how that affects the media buying process. How buyers are able to use and interact with cookie-level data and how that impacts audience-based buying will be fascinating to see evolve, and no doubt will be different than North America.
By John Ebbert