That may still sound typical for a private exchange. But the rules contained in a Deal ID provide an extra level of control and flexibility that private marketplaces don't. Private marketplaces go as far as setting up block lists of unwelcome advertisers, as well as price floors. But the private marketplace still depends on the insertion order, which still takes some manual work. For example, an IO is generally pretty much set in stone once it's issued.
With a Deal ID, a publisher can automatically cancel their default ad rules for certain kinds of buyers, opening portions of inventory that are otherwise unavailable programmatically. Sellers can also grant priority access.
If there's a particular kind of advertiser a publisher wants to attract, the Deal ID can be instructed to accept a discounted pricing or more flexible packaging. The move toward Deal IDs reflects an evolution of the private marketplace by actually defining the game plan for the otherwise vague notion of "premium programmatic." In other words, Deal ID is intended to bring more automation and choice to the static insertion order.
The function is not without challenges. Deal ID is an open-source tool that requires only that DSPs and SSPs accept mutual use or "interoperability" that lets machines speak to each other, even if the buyers and publishers are using different formats and ad units. But the parameters could be so narrowly drawn that publishers may find the main thing being squeezed is scale.
As Jed Nahum, senior director of programmatic sales at Microsoft Advertising, wrote in an opinion piece on AdExchanger this week, "as currently defined, these buy types create significant overhead for publishers that limit their scalability. I suspect these are gap-bridging offerings that are neither fish nor fowl and won’t be actively sold in the long-term. The technology that enables them, however, may be repurposed for other goals."
In a way, transience is the point, said Trefgarne, as Deal ID is about getting the direct-sales teams more hands-on with an increasingly automated process. LiveRail had been building and testing its Deal ID feature with content network Demand Media, WPP Group's Mindshare media agency and DSP and data-management platform operator Turn since the start of the year. He said he expects Deal ID workflows to be regular part of everyday video-ad sales.
"At the premium end of the spectrum, we think that Deal ID will be the predominant way that video is bought and sold programmatically," Trefgarne said. "Publishers want a premium paid for their band. What we're seeing more and more is publishers' direct-sales teams work to include private exchanges within their overall sales offerings. This is not just another tool, but a more advanced one for media sellers."
Companies that have largely focused on serving the buy side are interested in promoting Deal ID in the hopes that it accelerates the shift toward automation by making direct-sales teams more comfortable with programmatic.
“Programmatic direct deals, facilitated by Deal ID, are a win-win for premium advertisers and publishers, especially in the video channel where brand considerations are paramount on both sides," said Mark Balabanian, senior director of business development at Turn.