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Yes, buyer SPO deals are good for publishers

At a recent QBR with one of our publishers, we were walking them through our evolved buyer strategy when they interrupted and asked why we were putting so much effort into engaging with buyers when we were an SSP?  Not only an SSP, but one that claims loud and proud, to be PUBLISHER-CENTRIC?

The buyer ‘strategy’ that had generated this response was the one whereby we stated we were actively working to provide buyers (brands and agencies) with a number of supply path optimisation options. The whole SPO approach makes sense, as buyers look to remove complexity from supply chains by reducing the number of intermediaries they work with to those that add real value.

The publisher, rightly, wanted to understand how PubMatic negotiating deals that worked for buyers was good for their business. I could see their point of view, but I was clear to them why our strategy of negotiating these deals is good for publishers.

  • The fee negotiated with the buyer (if it’s a fee-based deal) is always a competitive one. This works in the publisher’s favour. As there is a scale commitment made by the buyer, they will shift spend from less economically attractive supply paths to PubMatic. Outcome: increased spend for the publishers in our portfolio. 
  • The supply chain transparency these deals provide into how much media spend is actually reaching the publisher is a key factor when buyers are deciding which supply path partners to work with. Providing this level of transparency means buyers will move spend from non-transparent supply paths to PubMatic. Outcome: increased spend for the publishers in our portfolio.
  •  Our relentless focus and investment in removing ‘bad actors’ allows us to provide money back assurances that any SPO deal only includes high quality inventory. This means buyers will move spend from non-quality supply paths to PubMatic. Outcome: increased spend for the publishers in our portfolio.

When explained like this, the publisher understood that by having a clear buyer strategy that supports buyers and delivers high quality, brand safe inventory through a trusted and transparent supply path, we are, in fact, maintaining our publisher-centric approach. The result is that SPO delivers benefits for the buy and sell side, which can only be good for the industry as a whole.

Emma Newman is chief revenue officer, EMEA, at PubMatic

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