MediaBank Launches Trading Desk Platform

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ADOTAS – Multichannel technology provider MediaBank announced recently it’s created a trading desk platform for ad agencies. With this trading desk capability, which the company is presenting as a white-label package that agencies can customize to suit their own needs, agencies will be able to buy media in real time across a supply pool of over 20 billion impressions. This comes as MediaBank, with its back-end technology bolstered by partnering in September with former rival DDS and, before that, by acquiring DSP AdBuyer, prepares to relaunch as MediaOcean, pending the U.S. government’s approval of their merger.

The key points in this platform are that agencies will be able to integrate its technology with their own software, making the process of launching a campaign more efficient, and that, as we said, they’ll be able to customize features like reporting, decisioning and DSP management. Basically, it’s aimed at demystifying the trading desk and allowing agencies to take a more hands-on role in a process that used to be handled by an external party and that folks at the agencies often couldn’t sufficiently explain to their clients. “Trading desks were always seen as peripheral,” MediaBank president John Bauschard said today in a phone conversation. “When the dollars were small, it was one thing,”  added senior vice president of product (and former AdBuyer CEO) Tim Ogilvie. “But the dollars are no longer small.”

After MediaBank acquired AdBuyer, Bauschard explained, “we were looking at ways we could use the technology for agencies, so it’s no longer a black box.” In developing the trading desk, he said, MediaBank approached a small group of “technology-focused” (Bauschard’s description) agencies and worked to build tools around their needs. “The direction is almost entirely driven by our agency partners,” Ogilvie pointed out.

“We’re trying to get the agencies to do this themselves,” Bauschard explained. “They need to explain this to the client.”

MediaBank has created this platform, which employs tools it’s developed, but Bauschard compares the company’s system to what Apple has done with apps — created a forum that others can work in and build upon. “We have to show people how we’re going to plug in,” he said. “We’re open to others doing their own thing.” But for
the time being, he said, they’re containing it within a fairly intimate circle. “We’re limiting this program to about a dozen agencies this year, because it’s a big commitment,” Bauschard said.

According to Bauschard, MediaBank is expected to announce those dozen or so partners “in the next couple weeks.”

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