Marketing Programmatic Data & Privacy

A new future for programmatic: curated marketplaces signal more transparency and efficiency


By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

September 25, 2020 | 4 min read

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The programmatic industry has faced challenges with transparency since its inception, due to its often-cluttered ecosystem populated with myriad intermediaries. However, as marketplaces evolve and mature, privacy and transparency in digital media are guiding the way forward, on both the selling and buying sides of the equation. The paradigms are changing swiftly, resulting in far-reaching impact on transparency within the programmatic supply chain.


As marketplaces evolve and mature, privacy and transparency in digital media are guiding the way forward.

Data from eMarketer points out that this year, for the first time, programmatic ad spending on private marketplaces (PMP) will surpass that on open exchanges. This growth in PMP ad spending will be dramatic, and experts pitch it to outpace that of the open markets by about 3 to 1 in 2020 and beyond. PMPs—a subset of real-time bidding (RTB) in which some sort of private deal exists between a publisher or a small group of publishers and select ad buyers—will see double-digit growth throughout the forecast period.

There are multiple advantages to curated marketplaces. A key one for agencies and holding companies is that they enable them to partner with technology companies and mine for the best media on the supply side. The model is evolving to offer new programmatic supply solutions that focus on driving performance with high quality inventory and transparency.

According to Sam Tan, Senior Director of Market Development, JAPAC, Xandr, “Marketplaces must evolve to offer new programmatic supply solutions that focus on improved trading efficiency with high quality inventory and transparency.” Such transparency across media, technology and costs is essential to increasing trust and therefore confidence in the programmatic marketplace for customers, he adds.

From a buyer side, this shift helps in bundling inventory keeping in mind the buyers’ specifications even while making the inventory easily targetable. In addition, it helps increase the reach against first-party data to build a scaled marketplace for buyers and empowers them to execute buys themselves rather than having to rely on third parties. From a seller perspective, it allows publishers to filter through high quality supply with ease and precision, while also helping reinforce transparency across media, technology and costs. Basically, it gives the media ecosystem the ability to curate the best quality inventory at the best price for clients and create customised and bespoke solutions for client needs. All in all, a win-win scenario for all the stakeholders of the ecosystem.

The future of marketplaces could well be about optimization of a buyer’s path to supply. One such example is the initial launch of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Dentsu Curate. Using Xandr’s technology platform, Denstu Curate enables transparent buying by curating supply directly from publishers, consolidating media into a central marketplace and eliminating non-essential pass throughs in the value chain. The programmatic supply solution built upon principles of quality and transparency for performance is the first of its kind in APAC, marking the start of a new era in the evolution of programmatic.

Sunil Naryani, VP Commercials and Partnership, Dentsu Aegis Network APAC, says, “As we strive to provide increased performance and transparency, there is a clear need for us to simplify the programmatic supply chain, and intermediaries that are not adding genuine value in the supply chain or don't have transparency as their core operating principle will struggle."

With early marketplace adapters showing upwards of 10% improvement in viewability and 15% improvement in campaign performance, the shift can only show upward growth in this area. As marketing increasingly becomes more ROI-led, the future will be about re-engineering the current supply chain to connect technologies in a new, more efficient, transparent, and simpler programmatic model.

Marketing Programmatic Data & Privacy

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Xandr, a part of Microsoft Advertising, powers a global marketplace for premium advertising. Our data-enabled technology platform, encompassing Xandr Invest, Xandr Monetize, and Xandr Curate, optimizes return on investment for both buyers and sellers, while maintaining a commitment to an open marketplace and empowering the open web globally.

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