The Rise of the Publisher Trading Desk

By: Jack Marshall | Digiday

Major publishers have accepted that programmatic advertising is here to stay, and most now sell significant portions of their ad space that way. Now a handful are taking their ad tech experiments a step further, using it to buy inventory from third-party sites and exchanges, repackage it and sell to their advertiser clients at a premium.

Condé Nast, the Washington Post and the Guardian have all launched publisher trading desks in the past year. The idea is for those units to take information gleaned from owned and operated properties, and to use it to target users elsewhere on the Web on behalf of clients. An advertiser may wish to reach a specific publisher’s audience, for example, but care little if it actually does so on that publisher’s sites. That’s the opportunity publishers are hoping to exploit.


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