Technorati’s New Pub-Tech Platform Blows Up the Daisy Chain

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Technorati, advertising technology specialists, are launching a sophisticated and demand-agnostic technology called SmartWrapper, that will let publishers scale revenue, lower the cost of Advance Bidding, and blow up the daisy chain (programmatic sequential selling of inventory).

It’s the first feature of a larger platform solution, called Contango, that delivers parity to programmatic bidding and helps publishers get the highest price for their inventory across the demand ecosystem. Smartwrapper is undergoing Beta testing now and accepting new publishers as partners.

“Demand fragmentation forces publishers to work with multiple revenue partners to try and maximize yield. However when deployed in a waterfall or daisy chain process that strategy is neither effective nor efficient as it limits a publisher’s exposure to all demand at the same time,” says Shani Higgins, Technorati’s CEO. “In order to maximize competition for each impression sold and minimize management costs, we engineered Contango to provide a true unified auction process with centralized reporting and revenue management.”

Across the programmatic ecosystem, buyers and sellers, frustrated by shortfalls of the daisy chain process, have recently begun experimenting with Advance Bidding partnerships, also known as header bidding. Advance Bidding enables publishers to collect revenue partners’ dynamic bids for each impression when the browser loads the page. Those bids are then passed to the publisher’s ad server in advance of the auction. This allows for a single, simultaneous auction in the ad server, eliminating the need for daisy chaining and permitting the true highest bidder to win the publisher’s inventory. Buyers also benefit competing in a unified auction (vs. a sequential auction) because they have a chance to bid on all of a publisher’s inventory. Though a big step in the right direction, Advance Bidding is not without its challenges, among them are significant publisher development and management costs, increased page load time and limited transparency into revenue partner performance.

SmartWrapper, a major feature of Contango, not only provides a single-tag solution, but also streamlines the implementation and management of Advance Bidding partners. SmartWrapper provides management of these revenue integrations through a unified interface, saving publishers expensive development costs and resources. SmartWrapper also manages page load time, optimizes throttling for lagging partners, enhances demand partner transparency, and centralizes reporting across partnerships.

A Technorati Beta partner, Topix, the largest local forum site in the United States aggregating news and hosting conversation for over 20,000 cities and towns and over 12 million users a month, is already seeing the power of this new technology. “Contango’s SmartWrapper gives us much needed visibility and control over our Advance Bidding partnerships while decreasing page load time, increasing overall inventory, and ensuring a positive user experience,” says Topix COO Steve Rubinstein. “The platform provides in depth partner-level reporting including bidding, winning, and response rates, which makes it easier to maximize the value of each relationship. We also saw a 12% improvement in page load time from the moment we began using it.”

The Contango technology platform is licensed via a software-as-a-service subscription as opposed to a commission or revenue-sharing basis. This eliminates the conflict of interest inherent in many ad technology platforms by not bundling with the service, nor driving commissions from, an exchange of its own.

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