All of this inventory, he added, will be married to Conversant’s audience data and built off the various programmatic assets it’s spent the last year combining into a common platform. This includes ad tech from Dotomi and video tech from SET Media – all of which revolves around a data identifier called Common ID.
But what about tie-ins to Epsilon’s tech and data assets?
“Right now we’re not,” Malhotra said. “It’s a month after the close, but right now I’m working with our Epsilon team to figure out how we marry it.”
Conversant had been working on CPE since late 2014, Malhotra said, and while a production-quality version had been available, the company is rolling it out with a big PR push.
“Given this hadn’t been public, we’ve been working with just a handful of marketers,” Malhotra said. He mentioned that one early client, a brand advertiser he wasn’t allowed to name, had been using CPE through a trading desk, and that the exchange “performed at the top, compared to 17 other partners they’d worked with.”
Private exchanges have been a hot topic in of late, as brands, content creators and vendors work to set them up. While many laud the concept – because who wouldn’t want to advertise to select audiences devouring exclusive content? – there has been a lot of criticism of the execution, much of which centers around lack of inventory or the complaint that Deal IDs don’t really work since it’s wasted inventory if advertisers don’t bite.
But private exchanges are certainly maturing and their role in the digital advertising ecosystem is beginning to clarify. Many advertisers see private exchanges as complementary to the open exchange, not as a replacement, wherein the open exchange enables audience discovery and the private exchange lets advertisers buy inventory on specific sites in a well-lit media environment, where they have a better chance of hitting that audience.