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Media futures trading is one step closer as NYIAX raises $5.6m

Under the NYIAX media futures options can be re-traded after they are initially sold / pixabay

NYIAX has announced a $5.6m funding led by WestPark Capital, with the proceeds from the seed round being used to accelerate what it says will be the first scaled media futures trading platform.

The funding will be used to expand the company’s global reach and accelerate open trading on the platform, which it claims is currently being tripled by up to 40 publishers and advertisers, ahead of an earlier promised launch date by the close of 2017.

Robert Ainbinder, who led WestPark Capital’s investment round, described participation in the round as “the future of advertising” adding that NYIAX, which is set to count Nasdaq among its intellectual property partners, and its automation technology can help the advertising sector become more transparent, and efficient.

“NYIAX changes everything – helping publishers, advertisers and fintech partners address the challenges in today’s marketplace,” he added.

Nasdaq’s blockchain-enabled transactional engine powers NYIAX’s trading functions, and promises to take “Wall Street tech to Madison Avenue”. It plays a similar function across engines powering trading across more than 85 exchanges globally, with the startup outfit’s co-founder, Carolina Abenante, claiming the trading platform will open soon.

The basic proposition of Nasdaq-backed NYIAX is to essentially launch a futures contract market, which it claims will let publishers sell their media on an upfront basis (i.e. - a year or so in advance), so they can guarantee revenue ahead of time. This, in turn, better enables planning resource allocation and sales strategy with a more long-term strategic mindset, as opposed to the short-termism of cyclical seasonality.

Contrast this with the comparative short term-thinking of monetizing media via real-time bidding markets – historically a means of monetizing distressed inventory – as it lets publishers package inventory (in terms of data and contextual attributes) on an upfront basis, according to the NYIAX pitch.

In theory, this helps publishers guarantee revenue ahead of time, while still employing methods such as RTB, plus it also facilitates transparency in the market, as it also lets publishers upload their sales packages to the NYIAX platform, which buyers can then come in and inspect.

NYIAX claims its use of blockchain technology as its core ledger (which keeps a financial track record of the transactions on the NYIAX platform) facilitates additional transparency in the automated trading ecosystem.

NYIAX’s leadership is eager to compare the offering to futures trading on the financial markets, with it also claiming that it will facilitate the re-trading of inventory in a similar manner. The current proposition is that media owners selling their inventory via the platform can set limits as to the amount of times its inventory can be re-traded, with brand safety tools also being built into the platform.

Speaking previously with The Drum, Richard Bush, NYIAX, chief technology officer, described how its uses blockchain technology and guarantee of transparency can help alter how media is traded: “NYIAX is a forward contract exchange. Current offerings differ as they focus on the delivery of the media at runtime, whereas NYIAX focuses on future inventory.

“Blockchain has the potential to change many markets including advertising. With, that said, the automation of the advertising contract or people process is the initial innovation.”