Tremor Video pivots UK operations to focus on SSP business

Tremor Video’s recently appointed managing director Andrew Morley has kicked off his tenure at the helm in the UK by taking the decision to close down the ad network and demand-side platform (DSP) side of the business there to instead focus on its supply-side platform (SSP) operations.

From the end of Q2 this year, Tremor Video will effectively wind up its DSP and network business in the UK in order to concentrate on bringing renewed verve into the market’s SSP sector, a task the company’s senior leadership team are committed to, and confident of pulling off.

It’s a move that separates Tremor Video’s UK operations from virtually anywhere else in the world where the publicly listed company has operations, with Morley (now 10 weeks into the job) explaining that the “difficult” decision was taken to better articulate its offering to the market.

Speaking at a publisher summit hosted in Ibiza, Spain, where Tremor is impressing the renewed strategy upon the UK’s premium publisher sect, Morley conceded that having effectively three separate parts to the business in a market that is so comparatively small had become confusing internally, and subsequently to the external market.

“I came into the business, and was given the task of taking a good look at it and come up with a plan, and then gathered that we were a bit confused,” he said. “We were historically known as a video ad network in the UK, and as programmatic came a long that became a bit difficult [to effectively juggle both].”

The decision to fold up Tremor’s ad network operations was a difficult one, as this operation was one that was producing a healthy revenue stream, but for Morley, it will be beneficial in the long term to have a clearer focus.

In addition, the decision to drop the DSP side of the business was taken as industry sources consulted by Morley described this sector of the market as being too crowded. “Being a DSP was okay, but when I spoke to people, they said: ‘we don’t want another DSP’, so we’re not focusing on that going forward,” he added.

So for now, Tremor is wooing UK premium publishers in an attempt to win over the market’s premium inventory sources in the hope of convincing them of its “weapons grade SSP”.

By way of comparison, Tremor Video will stick with its tripartite approach in its domestic US market, but it is in the UK that Tremor is eyeing a leadership role in the SSP sector, with the company’s leadership eager to point out that post the purchase of StickyAds by ComCast, Tremor is effectively one of the only independent players in the market.

Given that Facebook has effectively wound up the SSP operations of LiveRail, and that pan-European broadcaster RTL controls video SSP SpotX, plus AOL owning Adap.TV, Tremor is the only video supply-side source at scale that is not already owned by a media owner, its leadership claims.

“The important thing to remember is that the UK is desperate for competition when it comes to SSPs,” asserts Morley.

When probed on whether this renewed charm offensive in the market will involve extra cost competition, Tremor representatives are coy, going only as far as to say that they will be ‘competitive’, but they are confident that such an approach will result in accelerated growth in the UK.

“We’ve got great tech, talent, and we’re going to focus heavily on service,” added Morley, who further added that this point will be underlined with its subsequent messaging at Cannes, Dmexco, and further trade gatherings this year, a repositioning that will commence with the outfit changing offices in London next week.

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