PCH/Media continues adtech repositioning, strikes header bidding deal with OpenX

Publishers Clearing House (PCH) – a direct marketing firm associated with sweepstakes – has struck a deal with OpenX that will see it use the adtech firm’s header bidding technology to help bolster advertising yield after early beta tests bolstered revenue 26%.

PCH Media claims it has over 100 million unique audience profiles

PCH is now working with OpenX’s technology to segment its audiences, and then offer brands the opportunity to advertise to its most premium users via the adtech outfit’s private marketplace (PMP) offering using header bidding.

The pair claim that an earlier experiment they conducted on PCH.com, its largest website where typically users can win prizes by playing games, saw a 26% lift in revenue across desktop (equivalent to $10,000 per day).

Media buyers participating in the project came from such verticals as consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and automotive, and were able to target users across a range of audience segments including age, gender ZIP-code area and earlier purchase behavior, although the direct marketing outfit was unable to name specific brands that participated in the earlier trials.

Speaking with The Drum, Heather Macaulay, head of revenue at PCH/Media, pointed out that while the company is commonly thought of as “a big cheque company”, the outfit is actually a Comscore top-100 publisher with a wealth of first party data with a reach into 73% of US households.

She went on to highlight that employing header bidding technology was a priority as it wanted to increase the levels of competition for its advertising inventory, and that integration with OpenX’s PMP offering was vital to maximizing this yield.

In a statement, Macaulay said: “Ad quality is one of our biggest priorities, and OpenX’s ability to exceed high marketplace standards as the industry leader in quality has allowed us to focus on enhancing our monetization strategy.”

In addition, the same release, Jason Fairchild, chief revenue officer and co-founder at OpenX, commented: “PCH is pushing the envelope by applying new tools and methods, like leveraging their own first-party CRM data, to substantially increase the value of their unique inventory to advertisers looking for specific audiences. We look forward to our continued collaboration.”

Speaking with The Drum, Asher Rappaport, senior business development director at OpenX, said the level of quality of his outfit’s advertising demand was key to bolstering yield.

PCH/Media rebranded to its current guise in the final half of 2016 (its earlier nomenclature was Liquid) in a bid to tap into the growing demand for audience engagement that adtech offers advertisers following the purchase of its own mobile-specialist demand-side platform (DSP) Plethora Mobile as well as customer relations management (CRM) system CommandIQ in 2015.

Speaking to media at the time of the launch, Steve Bagdasarian, Publishers Clearing House, general manager, cited Nielsen data claiming that it had almost 80% viewability rate for ads on its network, 85% completion rate on video, as well as 90% on-target delivery.

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