Home Advertising Tips Demand-Side Platforms: The Supply-Side Transparency Wish List

Demand-Side Platforms: The Supply-Side Transparency Wish List

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According to eMarketer, programmatic (technology-powered) advertising accounts for 78% of all digital media in 2017, yet it is widely known that the programmatic ecosystem has many problems. To ensure the sustainability of this ecosystem, all parties on the supply side (publisher) and demand side (advertiser) need to take steps to address the transparency issues that lead to these challenges in the first place. Here’s a list of said challenges along with predicted solutions:

Demand-side platforms want supply-chain transparency.

It is widely agreed that having fewer middlemen means more value communicated between buyers and sellers. The advertising landscape is notorious for hiding the true flow of dollars from brands to publishers. One initiative that takes a stab at solving this problem is ads.txt, a simple solution that lets publishers communicate which supply-side platforms (SSPs) they work directly with. Adoption is picking up speed on the publisher side. Soon enough, we can expect demand-side platforms (DSPs) to aggressively verify publishers they access, cutting out all resellers that don’t work directly with publishers.

The current black box of SSP auctions will also start receiving attention. Because DSPs now access the same publishers from multiple exchanges, they can compare the winning bid price to bid price ratio and approximate whether the second-price auction has been manipulated. In 2018 DSPs will look even closer into what happens after the bid is placed to ensure auctions run as intended.

Demand-side platforms want placement transparency.

Not knowing where your ads run is shockingly common. While many DSPs are now 100% transparent about which domains they run on, much of the inventory is still covered up by the label “undisclosed.” This may have worked in 2012 when publishers wanted to hide the fact that they sell inventory programmatically, but in 2017 everyone sells ads programmatically. Ultimately, masking domains is harmful to revenue because advertisers no longer tolerate this kind of opacity.

OpenRTB 2.3, the most adopted version of real-time bidding, does not enforce the passing of page-level information along with ad placements. As a result, DSPs have to rely on viewability verification partners. They, in turn, have their own challenges: In-app viewability generally isn’t supported and native viewability is consistently unsupported across SSPs.

In 2018, there will be a strong push for placement transparency reporting by SSPs. The winners here will be companies that adopt a buyer-first mentality and help advertisers buy inventory that drives results.

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Shutterstock

According to eMarketer, programmatic (technology-powered) advertising accounts for 78% of all digital media in 2017, yet it is widely known that the programmatic ecosystem has many problems. To ensure the sustainability of this ecosystem, all parties on the supply side (publisher) and demand side (advertiser) need to take steps to address the transparency issues that lead to these challenges in the first place. Here’s a list of said challenges along with predicted solutions:

Demand-side platforms want supply-chain transparency.

It is widely agreed that having fewer middlemen means more value communicated between buyers and sellers. The advertising landscape is notorious for hiding the true flow of dollars from brands to publishers. One initiative that takes a stab at solving this problem is ads.txt, a simple solution that lets publishers communicate which supply-side platforms (SSPs) they work directly with. Adoption is picking up speed on the publisher side. Soon enough, we can expect demand-side platforms (DSPs) to aggressively verify publishers they access, cutting out all resellers that don’t work directly with publishers.

The current black box of SSP auctions will also start receiving attention. Because DSPs now access the same publishers from multiple exchanges, they can compare the winning bid price to bid price ratio and approximate whether the second-price auction has been manipulated. In 2018 DSPs will look even closer into what happens after the bid is placed to ensure auctions run as intended.

Demand-side platforms want placement transparency.

Not knowing where your ads run is shockingly common. While many DSPs are now 100% transparent about which domains they run on, much of the inventory is still covered up by the label “undisclosed.” This may have worked in 2012 when publishers wanted to hide the fact that they sell inventory programmatically, but in 2017 everyone sells ads programmatically. Ultimately, masking domains is harmful to revenue because advertisers no longer tolerate this kind of opacity.

OpenRTB 2.3, the most adopted version of real-time bidding, does not enforce the passing of page-level information along with ad placements. As a result, DSPs have to rely on viewability verification partners. They, in turn, have their own challenges: In-app viewability generally isn’t supported and native viewability is consistently unsupported across SSPs.

In 2018, there will be a strong push for placement transparency reporting by SSPs. The winners here will be companies that adopt a buyer-first mentality and help advertisers buy inventory that drives results.

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