Survey Reveals Publishers’ Frustrations with Programmatic Partnerships

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Technorati’s “State of the Industry: The state of programmatic partnerships” Survey Finds Almost Half of Publishers Are Frustrated by Programmatic Demand Partners Not Able to Compete with Each Other on Each Impression.

Technorati, which provides publisher-side solutions that bring parity to programmatic advertising and improve performances across revenue partnerships, today revealed that almost half of publishers (45.45 %) say they are frustrated by not being able to have demand partners compete with each other on each impression.

As a result publishers use tactics they don’t like to try to maximize yield. In a survey of over 600 buy- and sell-side professionals, almost half of publishers (49 %) say they use passbacks and floor prices to maximize yield of programmatic demand solutions, essentially “daisy-chaining” or waterfalling (that’s the practice of giving each partner in a series a chance at an impression before moving it along to the next partner if it is not purchased). About the same percentage manually adjust ad serving rules based on estimated CPMs and fill and/or work with fixed-CPM partners.

“Publishers need to ensure that every impression is sold at its highest possible value. When sequential auctions or manually estimating bids for buyers are the only options for a publisher, both the buy and sell side suffer from lack of true competition and access,” says Shani Higgins, Technorati’s CEO (pictured top left). “As we learned from our survey, publishers need a lot more help than they are getting to ensure an optimal trading process.”

Sample Q&A:

Q: Which of the following are the biggest challenges you face working with programmatic demand solutions?

A: 45.45% of publishers said, “Not being able to have demand partners compete with each other on each impression.

43.43% said, “Daisy Chaining or Waterfalling partners is inefficient and not as effective as I’d like it to be.

44.44% said, “Not having my own internal developers with time/resources/ expertise to support my needs.

43.43% lamented, “Not having the technology and tools that address my needs.

Interestingly, while the majority (64.71%) of publishers (and buyers) use one to five programmatic partners, a significant segment of both groups use more than six programmatic partners (29% for buyers and 27% for sellers).

“The fragmentation of demand puts publishers in the untenable position of baring the costs in workhours and tech stacks for each separate relationship,” says Ms Higgins.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Digiday, from June 23rd to July 10th and is part of a “report card” about how buyers and seller regard one another in the programmatic space. Programmatic (mainly open marketplace) buying is now claiming the bulk of digital budgets, averaging about 46 percent of spending.

Additional highlights from the survey:

Q: (Publishers) Is the difficulty of dealing with multiple programmatic demand platforms felt more by publishers or buyers?

Publishers 57.80%

Both equally 34.86%

Buyers 7.34%

Q: (Publishers) Which of the following has played the biggest role in keeping you from integrating more programmatic demand solutions?

Time or effort to technically integrate another system 63.13%

Time or effort to manage each relationship 56.57%

Time or effort to manage ad quality 46.97%

Loss of impressions from chaining more partners 39.90%

Q: (Buyers) What has prevented you from integrating more programmatic buying tools?

Time or effort to integrate 55.09%

Time or effort to manage each relationship 49.10%

All of the inventory is overlapping 41.32%

Time or effort to manage inventory quality 38.92%

Q: (Publishers) Which of the following are the aspects of your programmatic demand solutions in most need of improvement?

CPM 46.78%

Fill rate 42.49%

Total revenue 35.62%

Ad quality 34.76%

Partner support 12.88%

Q: (Buyers) Why do you think your programmatic ads don’t show up on certain comScore top 250 sites that support advertising?

The CPMs (floors) are too high 70.86%

Quality issues – (e.g., viewability, ATF vs. BTF inventory) 58.94%

Lack of transparency or desired context 54.30%

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