Programmatic trading should focus more on quality than quantity of ad impressions, says Xaxis UK MD

Programmatic trading has centred too much on quantity and not enough on quality of ad impressions served, which is undermining the space, according to Xaxis UK managing director Nicolas Bidon.

Speaking at Admonsters Ops Building the Future of Advertising event in London this morning Bidon said despite the opportunities surrounding the programmatic trading and real-time-bidding (RTB) environments the industry has not progressed as fast as it should in the last decade.

The overly complex digital ad ecosystem, rife with jargon, and a lack of standardisation are two major factors hampering the progression of the industry, along with driving scale to the detriment of quality, according to Bidon.

“We have also focused on quantity rather than quality. For example in the US the internet population is about 270 million people, and an average 5 trillion impressions are served daily. Do the math and you see that each of those online users gets served an average of 2,000 ads per month – that’s 66 ads every day to each user.

"We must find better ways than that. It’s not about quantity – it’s about selling the right impression at the right price and yield," he said.

Bidon referenced Sky as a key example in how a publisher should approach real-time-bidding, focusing on the consumer and delivering fewer impressions.

The pay TV operator, which is one of the biggest spenders in RTB, recently revealed it now serves 15 per cent fewer impressions year on year via RTB , while maintaining a flat budget, and has seen sales rise fiver per cent as a result.

“It goes to show that fewer impressions will deliver a greater yield for publishers,” said Bidon.

However, he said publishers must be more transparent about their inventory that goes into ad exchanges if they are to maximise their true potential.

“Advertisers and publishers mustn’t be afraid to experiment and challenges themselves in this space, with publishers willing to paint a portrait of their inventory for the trading desks to improve their ability to target further,” he added.

Xasis is the agency trading desk of Group M.

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