Proper Media: Helping Major Publishers Increase Revenue Through Programmatic Advertising

  • 2 November 2017
  • Expert Insights

This post is part of our Future of Marketing series where we interview the leading founders and executives on the front lines of their industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.

The following is an interview we recently had with Chris Richmond, CEO and founder of Proper Media. 

How is Proper Media building the future of programmatic advertising?

CR: We are pushing all ad companies toward header bidding. For the last couple years we have had dozens of ad companies approach us to buy inventory and we only work with them if they can run as a bidder. If we can’t get a price before we display your inventory we won’t bring it in. We also won’t bring it in if we have to integrate a 3rd party library on the client side that could slow down the browser. We have helped many companies develop their header bidding process to work with us and then other companies. The next thing we are working on is improving ad quality. We have developed scripts to kill autoplay ads and mobile redirects. We haven’t been able to catch them all but we take out at least 70% of them and are continually improving. It will take everyone working on the problem to fix it completely though so I hope we can help push the industry that way. We tell our partners we will kill these ads but they will still be charged for them. They agree as they want them stopped as well.

What is programmatic advertising?

What are the top three trends you're seeing in programmatic advertising today?

CR: Header bidding, header bidding and more header bidding. Over the past few years header bidding for display advertising has become mainstream. When we started the standard method was to waterfall your partners. You worked with one partner who would often get you the highest CPM’s but only fill 10% of the time so you put them first and continue to the next partner if they don’t fill. A flawed approach since every impression is unique so you never know who will have the higher CPM unless they give you a price first. Now every major display company has moved to header bidding. And now we are seeing header bidding being applied to video ads, native ads and mobile app advertising. All 3 are still in early stages, similar to where display advertising was a couple years ago but it won’t take long for them to catch up.

Do publishers earn more money from programmatic advertising?

What's holding the programmatic advertising industry back?

CR: Fragmentation, lack of standardization and poor ad quality. Back in the day you trusted Google and a couple other major players to handle all your advertising but with the industry growing and so many new majors showing up no one can keep up with the changes. When you work with dozens of companies and each of them work with dozens of companies and so on no one can keep track of everything. Everyone does things their own way and the scammers take advantage. One major scam is the autoplay video ads through display. Basically an advertiser will purchase a display ad for a small CPM then run code to play a useless generic video while it starts sending as many requests as it can to video exchanges for video ads that were most likely expecting to play in a real video in front of a user. Instead they are playing in the bottom corner of the screen which the user doesn’t notice until their browser starts freezing up on them. Another common scam is mobile redirects where a scammer purchases cheap display ads then redirects your browser to the app store in hopes of making a margin on you installing the app. The most annoying scam and the hardest to stop as a user can’t give you any information about the ad once they are redirected.

Does programmatic advertising create a better user experience?

What will happen to programmatic advertising in 2018?

CR: All forms of advertising will be bought through programmatic header bidding. Gone are the days of the direct deals with the outrageous CPMs made through in person meetings. Instead advertisers will be able to purchase all forms of high end advertising programmatically with all the targeting they will need. Header bidding increases competition which raises prices for the publisher but it also gives the advertiser a whole lot more options to buy the most targeted advertising across the whole Internet allowing for a more effective campaign for the money so it’s a win for everyone. I predict everyone will move toward server-to-server connections which is already in progress as the current popular method of client-to-server header bidding

What's the future of programmatic advertising?


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