Tools & Tech

Leveling the Programmatic Playing Field: Data Transparency

sovrnmarketing // September 30, 2014

Data Transparency

As the programmatic market stands, publishers have little to no insight into how their inventory is analyzed by advertisers. As a consequence, they are likely receiving lower prices for their inventory.  Without access to that data, publishers have limited ability to make their inventory more attractive to their buyers. Why is this a problem? This imbalance of data transparency has resulted in a huge increase in market inefficiency, which has also lead to a surge of cheap and suspicious inventory being sold.
Leveling the playing field
Publishers need access to the same data as advertisers so they can take a targeted approach to content and site optimization for increased revenue. A better understanding of their audience will allow publishers to make informed decisions about what kind of content they need to create. Sure, they can use any modern UI dashboard and get insights into their audience, but what they cannot get is data on which audience segments are converting into dollars.
For example, a publisher’s site might see most of their traffic from the 18-25 year-old demographic, but the 26-35 segment has a higher conversion rate. That simple insight would allow the publishers to focus more of their energy into creating targeted content for this particular segment. This would be a win-win for both the supply and demand side. The advertisers would be seeing more of the inventory they value and potentially increase their investment as a result. The more money we pour into the system, the more we get out of it. The current imbalance of supply and demand data transparency isn’t helping anyone; it’s only holding us back.
So, how do we curb this imbalance and take programmatic one step further in its evolution? We encourage publishers to only partner with agents that will be transparent with their data and show them what the advertisers are seeing. Once publishers have access to that kind of data, they will have better insights into how their inventory is being analyzed, which will allow them to better price their inventory.
What would this mean for the ecosystem? The quality publishers that deserve more revenue for their inventory would finally be getting it. This shift would empower publishers with the chance to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by this ever-evolving programmatic landscape.
What is Sovrn doing to help publishers?
sovrn has positioned itself in the marketplace as an SSP and partner for data-savvy publishers. Sovrn has a growing arsenal tools to help publishers make more money and better understand and engage with their readers. We stand out because of our commitment to transparency; we have opened our data to both advertisers and publishers. We are taking data to the next level for publishers with robust reporting and data visualization for bite-sized, actionable insights. By collecting data on our publishers’ inventory, we are positioned to analyze both on and offsite audience metrics. We are using our massive network as a proxy for the Internet.
The last several months have been devoted to segmenting the publishers we currently work with so we can offer them more specific insights into how they can grow their revenue. As a result, Sovrn has created a platform that will translate all the data we see. This asset, which is manifested through this platform (currently in the private beta), is invaluable to publishers looking to monetize their sites and better understand their readers.
sovrn’s goal with this platform is to empower publishers through data. We believe by doing so, we can optimize the relationship between supply and demand. By doing so, everybody wins.
Alex Biale, Publisher Marketing & Chris Crawfurd, VP of Publisher Services

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