Private Marketplaces Go Mainstream

When private marketplaces (PMPs) first appeared on the digital scene a few years ago, sellers were cautious to release inventory and invite buyers, fearing eroding CPMs and low-quality creative. It seemed only premium publishers and brands would be willing to transact in these exclusive environments.

But, as technology and the industry progressed, PMPs became commonplace for publishers and brands beyond comScore’s top 100 sites and Fortune 500 brands. SpotX recently announced that private marketplace deals accounted for about 45% of ad spend on its platform. And most industry sources estimate that a third of all programmatic media buying will happen through PMPs this year, making it a vital tactic to incorporate in any digital media campaign.

In order to understand the reasons behind this trend, it’s important to take a step back, examine the benefits, and learn where the industry’s interest in private marketplaces came from.

PMPs, though still part of the open ecosystem, are customized marketplaces, where publishers make their inventory available to select buyers. With private marketplaces, usually a negotiation takes place between the buyer and seller to create and agree on a deal, which hinges on approval of the advertiser, inventory type, and floor price. Deals are facilitated through a deal ID, which acts as a key to marketplace.

Transactions are still subject to an auction and not guaranteed, but the competition is limited to advertisers with the deal ID. With only a select few buyers having access to the inventory, your chance of winning impressions increases. Compare this to running a campaign across open exchanges, where all programmatic buyers have access to the same inventory and your opportunity to win impressions decreases because there’s more competition.

Those are the basics of PMPs, but let’s explore a few additional benefits to utilizing PMPs:

  • Unique inventory: A lot of publishers reserve specific inventory — or sometimes all of their inventory — exclusively for private marketplaces. More desirable ad placements such as high-impact, video, and connected TV will be excluded from the open exchanges. Also, publishers can offer first-party audience packages that would normally not be available.
  • Increase Campaign Performance: Using a private marketplace allows you to gain more access to a specific publisher’s inventory, which can be a tool to strategically optimize your campaigns. If you’re running a campaign across the open market, you may notice a certain site performing above average. With PMPs, you can add another tactic to your campaign: run your ad on that specific high-performing site. This will allow you to see and win even more impressions in hopes of achieving your KPI.
  • More control in buyer’s hands: You will know exactly where your ad is being placed, have the ability to choose which publisher sites you want to run across, what ad units you are running, where you ad is located on the page, what type of content category you want to surround you ad with, and much more.
  • Viewability: Most publishers reserve above-the-fold inventory for private marketplaces. Also, publishers are using viewability vendors to ensure they are measuring their inventory correctly and will offer the ability to sell specific viewability deals. If viewability is your goal, using a private marketplace is one of the best ways to get you there.

Now that you are a private marketplace expert, consider adding one or more to your campaigns. Centro DSP and your Customer Success Manager can help you get started.

For more information on DSP technology or on Centro DSP, visit our website or email info@centro.net.