OpenX Blog

Beyond Targeting: Why Buyers Need To Assess How Each Ad Exchange Performs to Drive Buying Efficiency

By Rohan Lala, Demand Sales Associate

Not too long ago, Josh Engroff wrote an article in AdExchanger calling for a Bloomberg terminal for RTB buyers who purchase inventory in open ad exchanges. In his article, Josh examines the reasons why RTB buyers can only access a tiny fraction of data, while publishers have plenty. The result is an asymmetry of information. He writes:

“As a buyer on the open RTB exchange, if I am unable to see any pricing data whatsoever prior to executing a trade, then the market isn’t truly open to me. It is partly obscured and the result is information asymmetry – publishers and SSPs see all price data, while buyers see relatively little.”

I work with all types of RTB buyers and constantly see this disparity at play. Publishers get detailed insights into who buys their inventory, the prices they pay, and how ads perform. But as Josh points out, buyers see only how their purchases perform in an exchange – which is typically less than 1% of the available information.

This raises an important question: Given the data disparity at play, what can buyers do to increase their buying efficiency? Continue reading

OpenX at Advertising Week 2014 (NYC) – Don’t miss out!

OpenX, a global leader in web and mobile advertising technology, has prepared an extraordinary lineup of speakers and agenda for Advertising Week 2014. If you’re heading to Advertising Week in New York next week, you’re not going to want to miss this.

OpenX will participate in a series of compelling sessions that will provide essential insights into unleashing the transformative power of programmatic advertising. This year, OpenX kicks off Advertising Week’s official Programmatic Day on Monday September 29th with two important morning sessions: the first features OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan and the second features Rob Kramer, GM of Mobile at OpenX. Continue reading

Conversion Data: A Key to Cutting Waste

This week AdExchanger’s “Data-Driven Thinking” column featured a compelling article written by Ian Davidson, Senior Director of Platform Demand at OpenX.

In “Conversion Data: A Key to Cutting Waste,” Ian Davidson addresses one of the key challenges inherent to the programmatic media buying ecosystem: waste.

Ian also connects waste with conversion data and how the industry is not doing enough with it. In fact, when the industry is not using conversion data as well as we should, we’re not doing enough about waste.

Meanwhile, some exchanges invest a lot of resources in eliminating fraud from programmatic but still hear from buyers that certain segments of inventory are not performing very well.

To address concerns of cutting waste while exchanges look for new ways to identify and eliminate underperforming traffic, an ambitious solution is proposed: sharing conversion data with exchanges in a trusted and controlled manner.

But many programmatic-media buyers view their conversion data as their own and keep this information top secret. So, you have buyers’ fears about sharing, and on the other hand, you have the desire to have a system that can provide greater returns. The key to this is aggregation. In the article, Ian suggests to combine all buyers’ data together in the exchange. Continue reading

Upcoming Webinar: Three Sides to Viewability – Wed. Sept. 24th 11:00 am PT

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.39.22 PMEarlier this year, the IAB issued its standard for measuring viewable display impressions: a minimum of 50 percent of pixels in view for a minimum of two seconds. But with the new guidelines, questions arise. What impact, if any, will this IAB guideline have on advertisers, publishers and the industry?

Join OpenX, Integral Ad Science and Quantcast as we explore the effects and challenges of viewability on the marketplace from the perspectives of three sides of the digital ad ecosystem: advertisers, publishers and third-party providers.

Topics covered include:

  • An overview of the current landscape including stats and trends
  • A discussion of the measurement methodologies including mobile and video
  • Helpful tips for advertisers and publishers to prepare to take advantage of viewability
  • Q&A with speakers:  John Murphy, VP of Marketplace Quality (OpenX), Ravi Patel, Product & Strategy (Integral Ad Science), David Grant, Director of Product, Quantcast

There’s still time to register for this free webinar!

The Buyer’s Perspective: The Difference Between Working with Ad Networks and Ad Exchanges

By Elizabeth Chapman, Sr. Manager, Business Development

Today’s media buyers have significant choice when it comes to acquiring inventory for their campaigns. The digital ecosystem offers numerous ad exchanges, as well as hundreds of ad networks that provide a broad spectrum of display, mobile and video inventory.

As a buyer, how do you know which route best serves your objectives? Prior to joining OpenX I served on multiple teams for an ad network, which helped me develop a broad perspective, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned to help media buyers better understand the ecosystem. Below are my observations on key issues for marketers.


Ad Exchanges provide a very high level of transparency. When the initial ad call is sent out, it’s sent to all buyers simultaneously, and the winner is selected from the pool. As a buyer, you can see the URLs of where your ads appeared, as well as how they performed by site.

This contrasts with ad networks, where transparency is a key challenge. Due to the network’s daisy-chaining buyers, as opposed to holding an auction with all buyers, URL transparency can be lost. You may never know where your ads appear, therefore you won’t have the insight needed to assess site performance. Continue reading

OpenX Joins The Fight Against Breast Cancer

DSC_1623 copyEvery now and then there are days when you’re at the office and your colleagues do or say something that makes you think, “These are exactly the kinds of people I want on my team!”

This happened last Friday at OpenX.

In an effort to show strength, solidarity and support for a colleague who is currently fighting (and beating) breast cancer, the OpenX team held a “Head Shaving Extravaganza!” in our lobby. As you can tell from the pictures there was in fact a head-shaving extravaganza, however what you can’t see is how strongly OpenXers take their core values. Here at OpenX we are one. We are a group of strong and diverse individuals unified by a clear common purpose. Our “Head Shaving Extravaganza!” is one example of how we turn our values into actions.

We were fortunate enough to witness our colleagues step up and show their solidarity with one incredible woman’s battle against breast cancer. Continue reading

Read “Being Mean”: The Power of Constructive Criticism by OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan

Earlier this week, LinkedIn, as part of their ongoing Influencers series, published “`Being Mean’: The Power of Constructive Criticism” by Tim Cadogan, CEO, OpenX.

In “’Being Mean”: The Power of Constructive Criticism,” Tim examines three approaches to providing productive criticism and how, in fact, not to be “mean”.

Article highlights and tips for constructive criticism include:

·Frequent – Provide frequent and prompt constructive criticism. Engage early and often, striving for immediacy. Provide frequent suggestions versus a barrage of feedback during an arbitrary session.

·Focused – The more focused, specific and actionable your feedback is, the better. It’s easier for a person concentrate on smaller, more tangible criticism that is actionable.

·Friendly – Be personable. The old maxim “sorry it’s business, it’s not personal” is false. Taking the time and effort to provide constructive feedback shows you care.

“If you really care about your company and your colleagues, you owe it to them to give them frequent, focused and friendly constructive criticism,” writes Tim. “It makes them better and with luck they will also reciprocate and give you the same kind of feedback and help you get better too.” Continue reading

Local Publishers Tap Into Programmatic

A few weeks ago Forrester Consulting released research that found nearly two-thirds (62%) of local publishers are now selling inventory via programmatic buying. The Forrester study, “Local Programmatic Creates a World of Opportunity,” commissioned by, conducted a survey of 100 publishing and ad organizations in the U.S. regarding their use of programmatic ad technology.

Highlights from the study include:

  • 62% of local publishers sell inventory via programmatic

Of those local publishers,

  • 70% sell display
  • 68% sell video
  • 56% sell mobile

Results from the study further show how local publishers are recognizing the benefits of programmatic and the value of the unstructured data. However, according to the study, there is an educational gap between local publishers and advertisers. Some local publishers are experiencing growing pains as they delve into programmatic advertising. In the study, 50% of respondents expressed the need for ad ops training and 65% said they needed sales training.

In short, the industry needs education and clarification on programmatic.

As programmatic continues to grow, ad technology companies, who have evolved with the industry, have the unique opportunity to provide the marketplace, which definitely includes local ecosystems, the educational support necessary to successfully adopt programmatic. Continue reading

OpenX to Present at dmexco on Native and Mobile Advertising Sept. 10-11, 2014

Rob Kramer_No logo copyRob Kramer, General Manager of Mobile at OpenX, to present “The Native Gold Rush: How Native Ad Formats Are Making a Success Out of Mobile Advertising”

For those industry savvy folks, dmexco 2014 is one of the leading global digital marketing events that promises to bring all the leaders within the digital space together for comprehensive discussions of current opportunities and challenges. Top global innovators will be there to participate in the dialogs with this year’s event theme “Entering New Dimensions.”

OpenX is thrilled to announce that we will be part of the cutting edge programming at dmexco 2014. Rob Kramer, General Manager of Mobile at OpenX will be presenting “The Native Gold Rush: How Native Ad Formats Are Making a Success Out of Mobile Advertising.”

Two significant developments have changed the game for marketers: Native Advertising and Programmatic Mobile. Native ad units mitigate “banner blindness” and increase user engagement by a factor of 4 on mobile devices. Programmatic mobile provides the scale advertisers need to launch native ads. Seeing the success, publishers are offering substantial volumes in mobile inventory to the programmatic markets. Continue reading

Breaking into Programmatic: My First Month at OpenX


by Victor Liu, Sales Engineer for Partnered Services

I recently joined OpenX as a new sales engineer coming from the telecommunications industry. As a newcomer to the world of programmatic technology, I anticipated my first days to be the beginning of a demanding but rewarding journey. I was definitely eager and ready for the challenge of learning about and working in programmatic. I feel the old school traditional “Mad Men” era of advertising is trickling to an end and is being supplanted by algorithmic transactions and digital automation technology. For me, it’s pretty exciting time to be part of all this change.

Day One at OpenX: Information flowed like a waterfall

I should also say “A LOT” of information flowed. Day One consisted of meeting friendly OpenXers, and soft introductions to a swarm of industry terminologies, acronyms, process flows, and diagrams. It was a lot to process. And I had a ton of questions: What is the display lumascape? How does our ad exchange function similarly, or differently, from a stock exchange? How do DSPs differ from SSPs? Is there a difference between ad agencies and ad networks?

With every question that was answered, two more questions would appear. Although I came from a similar tech background with its industry-specific lingo, it took bit to soak in all the new terminologies, relationships and environment. It’s a lot to take in on your first day but definitely intriguing for the intellectually curious. Continue reading