Rubicon Project Private Marketplace Header Bidding

Rubicon hopes to ‘tear down the traditional divide’ between programmatic and direct buying with launch of Guaranteed PMPs


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

September 1, 2016 | 4 min read

Rubicon Project has used its UK Automation Summit to announce the launch of Guaranteed PMPs (private marketplaces) – its latest offering, which it hopes will tear down the barriers between traditional direct buying, and programmatic media trading.



The ad tech outfit used the summit, where it gathers both the buy- and sell-side of the industry, to announce what it is dubbing a major step in how direct deals will be executed, and what it believes will be another ‘chink in the armour’ to 'waterfalling'.

Rubicon Project claims the offering will help bridge the gap between the traditional goals of direct buying, with the potential (ie scale) of ad tech using automated workflow systems.

Addressing attendees, Josh Turner, Rubicon Project, VP of project management, said: "Guaranteed PMPs means that both buyer and seller have more parity over how deals are transacted as they have the ability to trade using multiple models, which provides more transparency.

“It brings the scale and predictability of guaranteed buying, executed via private marketplaces, over the [open] RTB, Deal ID infrastructure that every major buyer and seller are using today, all within an automated workflow between buyer and seller.

“It gives buyers the ability to target very fine micro-audiences at the scale they need to meet their campaign objectives, and this differentiator will be a very powerful force in defining the way direct deals will be executed in the future. We’re getting to a place where we can really break down the barriers in the industry between direct and programmatic budget, and begin to tear down the walls between programmatic and direct teams over time.”

Speaking with The Drum on the sidelines of the event Neal Richter, Rubicon Project CTO, said Guaranteed PMPs would also help harmonise the aims of both the goals of the buy- and sell-side, as buyers are better assured of transparency (due to the private market place), and that this should help increase brand spend using programmatic.

“This is the next way the publishers and buyers are going to interact,” he said. “Ad serving is going to change radically - the unified auction is the way it’s going to happen.”

Notably, the Guaranteed PMP offering will also complement publishers that want to use header bidding technology – a trend the ad tech outfit’s leadership conceded it underestimated (much to the cost of its share price) during its latest quarterly earnings call.

Richter was quick to point out how Rubicon was one of the first to launch a header bidding solution (although its current iteration Fast Lane did not launch until December 2015), and that the ad tech outfit had opted to concentrate on a mobile offering (as opposed to the predominantly desktop-driven header bidding space) as it wanted to ready itself for the ascension of the APAC market.

“We were a little early on header bidding and there wasn’t a lot of demand [in the first instance],” he said.

Richter was quick to highlight how the bulk of mobile data will be generated by devices in APAC by 2020, and that messaging is likely to be the key opportunity for advertisers there.

“We concentrated on mobile, as that’s where the tide is going,” he said. “We’re trying to build a platform to run any ad type, on any device.”

Rubicon Project Private Marketplace Header Bidding

More from Rubicon Project

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +