SpotXchange has announced its publisher-side programmatic video ad platform today. Mike Shehan, SpotXchange's CEO told me that key differentiators are strong transparency, improved yield management and deal management controls. Mike said that video syndicator NDN (#6 ranked property by comScore in July) has been using the platform exclusively since the summer and has seen a big boost in its yields.
With the SpotXchange platform, publishers are able to expose and manage select inventory to all demand-side sources such as ad networks, demand side platforms (DSPs), agency trading desks and the SpotXchange marketplace. Mike said numerous features are aimed at alleviating publishers' traditional concerns that programmatic creates possible channel conflict with direct sales efforts.
For example, the platform allows visibility into every transaction and every bidder so that certain advertisers or categories can be blocked and minimum pricing rules can be set. By observing bidder behavior at the advertiser level, Mike also believes the platform's analytics can drive lead gen for publishers to engage in direct sales. In this scenario, the platform enables "programmatic direct" deals, where publishers' direct sales efforts are supported by programmatic infrastructure.
Like its main marketplace, the SpotXchange platform allows publishers to obtain bids from all 3rd party sources simultaneously, thus improving yield management. Mike noted that latencies involved in a daisy chain/waterfall approach can lead to unsold publisher video ad inventory and lower yields.
As part of the new publisher side focus, SpotXchange is also staffing up a New York based platform team, which will also offer managed services for clients as needed. Mike sees LiveRail as its key publisher side competitor.