Yesterday 24/7 Media (rebranded from 24/7 Real Media last month) announced an extensive partnership with Microsoft Advertising, including naming the Microsoft Advertising Exchange the exclusive third-party ad exchange offered to users of 24/7 Open AdStream; annointing the Microsoft Media Network as the only non-WPP demand source with programmatic access to the Real Media Group’s premium inventory; and opening up the Microsoft Media Network to media planning tool 24/7 Connect.
We caught up with Nicolle Pangis, President, Europe of Real Media Group, a business unit of 24/7 Media, for more of a European perspective on 24/7’s evolution, with particular focus on the acquisition of Panache, the growth of the 24/7 Access and dealing with the looming E- Privacy Directive.
What’s quite unique about Real Media Group’s offering is that you’re powered by your own technology platform – how do you think this has affected your approach to the market?
Our media business is powered by our own technology, and the fact we have our own solutions means that we are able to create and use this technology for all parts of the advertising funnel from sponsorship, premium direct sold, unsold and spot markets (RTB). As we are technologically independent, we can be reactive and innovate constantly – for example, we were the first company to deploy RTB directly in the publisher adserver, creating a single yield manager for direct sold and real time bidded unsold inventory. This innovation is absolutely game changing for the digital marketplace.
You recently picked up integrated ad management platform Panache – what was the thought process behind picking them specifically and how do you think this adds to your overall product?
It’s about monetising inventory; digital video is the fastest-growing advertising segment. Publishers and advertisers need to be able to monetise, target, and measure ad types across consumer platforms and devices. 24/7 Open AdStream’s targeting and insights match very well with Panache’s formats, workflow and analytics as a unified video ad management offering. We chose Panache specifically because its technology capabilities and extensive selection of proprietary video ad formats are unmatched in the industry – and we have already integrated their technology into 24/7 Open AdStream for a seamless user experience.
Finally, Panache has an impressive list of clients, including large media and entertainment brands and publishers all over the world where we are already located – for example Panache already works with Channel 4 which is also one of our UK clients.
The 24/7 Access, your media business, continues to grow at an alarming pace when others have faltered – what do you put it’s continued success down to?
Our media business ranks in the top five ad networks in the UK and France month after month. 24/7 Access is Real Media’s network of thousands of quality web sites which enables advertisers to reach segmented customers. It is powered by our ad management technology, 24/7 Open AdStream, which supports rich media, video and mobile advertising.
Our success is due to the fact we build a real partnership and relationship with the sites and publishers we represent. We directly represent publisher inventory, and do not buy inventory from any other sources, like networks or exchanges for the sole purpose of expanding our reach.
Our reach is impressive with direct relationships, which is very unique in the marketplace. For example, in France, 95% of the sites we represent are done on an exclusive basis. In the UK, we also maintain a good relationship with publishers, and some of them – such as Opodo – select us to exclusively sell and deliver digital advertising on their website.
Your platform also has real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities – do you see this as the future? Can all display inventory be traded this way?
Our new RTB capabilities allow publishers to put their inventory into one ecosystem that dynamically allocates revenue and delivers optimal yield. Unlike other systems that require publishers to segment specific inventory for RTB, this unique capability lets publishers filter and assign value to biddable inventory based on audience and context. It also gives advertising partners a simple solution for bidding on premium, first-tier inventory from a trusted, accountable source.
It’s quite difficult to say how the market is going to evolve, but I do believe automation is here to stay. However, all the dedicated advertising opportunities like Editorial Content, Microsite, Reskin – where the relationship between the publisher and the advertiser and agency is key to building a real added value for both. Automation will never be able to create the added value that agency’s create for their clients, or that publisher content and experience can create for the advertiser.
You were one of the first to sign on the Ad Choices icon and have been at the forefront of the the ePrivacy directive – how have you been communicating best practice to publishers and advertisers and who do you think the responsibility of implementing the icon falls to?
As one of the first to sign the Ad Choices icon, we are working closely with Publishers and Advertisers to promote it. Over the past year we have organised several User Clubs in Europe for pour partners, where this was one of the topics we educated the audiences on. As for now, we need to determine who will deliver the icon. At the moment, lack of agreed meta-data mechanism would make it impossible for all players to place the icon only on OBA ads. However, players who can determine exactly which ads are OBA by either collection or delivery and can mark them accordingly are free to do so. I see some minor issues with the icon being delivered multiple times, but there will be a major issue is if the icon is not delivered at all.
Lastly, what’s should we be looking out for from 24/7 Media in the coming year – upgrades? New partnerships?
We are going to continue to work to simplify the complexity of the digital advertising ecosystem for both advertisers and publishers. We will continue creating end-to-end solutions that allow businesses to gain market insight, engage audiences and evaluate performance. This can be done through upgrades or partnerships in the field of mobile, video and RTB. One of our next steps is the creation of an exclusive pipeline between digital advertising spend and premium inventory. With it, we facilitate relationships between world-class advertisers and premium publishers for mutual benefit. On the sell-side, publishers gain a single point solution for campaign and deal management, with seamless ad management integration through Open AdStream, an intuitive user interface and no retagging necessary. On the buy-side, agencies and advertisers gain full-service access to premium publisher
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