A Pioneer in Online Publishing
For over 100 years, Ohio-based Dix Communications (DixCom) has provided print and broadcast media to local communities in the Mid-west and South. The company owns daily and community newspapers, and operates regional radio stations.
In the early 1990’s, DixCom launched digital versions of its print publications, soon followed by community-focused websites. But it was the early days for monetizing website traffic.
“There weren’t a lot of options back then,” explained Andrew R. Dix, President of Dix Communications Internet Division. “We knew we wanted to support display advertising on our sites, and we wanted an ad server we could download and run ourselves. That’s how we discovered OpenX’s open source ad server.”
An Upgrade to OpenX Enterprise
In 2010, with digital advertising evolving at a rapid pace, the company realized it needed a more sophisticated ad server with technical support plus a partner who could help implement it.
DixCom initially focused on DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), but was disappointed when Google referred them to a reseller who lacked the expertise they wanted in a partner. After researching other platforms and vendors, DixCom arrived at OpenX Enterprise.
“All their customers gave high marks to the support team,” said Mr. Dix. “We were impressed by what we heard.”
DixCom implemented OpenX Enterprise to manage their ad revenue channels – exclusive, guaranteed, and non-guaranteed – in one place.
Real-Time Bidding Drives Demand
While Mr. Dix and his team were impressed with OpenX Enterprise, they were more excited by the direct integration with OpenX Market, a leading ad exchange. With OpenX Market, DixCom can sell its non-guaranteed inventory to a global pool of advertisers competing in OpenX Market’s real-time auctions for each ad impression.
“We realized our smaller publications could immediately generate revenue by attracting national advertisers to our unsold inventory,” said Mr. Dix. “It’s been very encouraging!”
Higher CPMs for Non-Guaranteed
In OpenX Market, publishers set price floors for their inventory, ensuring impressions are never sold for less than their true value. DixCom set a $2.00 price floor for inventory on most of its sites – nearly double the CPM received from their other partners.
Within a month, DixCom CPMs climbed to $2.24 – $2.76, and even higher on their niche sites.
“Real-time bidding is a significant trend,” said Mr. Dix. “It’s huge. And because so much of OpenX Market is automated, we have very low overhead on our nonguaranteed sales. I fully expect our CPMs to continue to rise.”
DixCom regularly consults with their OpenX support team on technology, monetization strategies, and tactics to achieve their goals.
“The OpenX support team has made life easier for all of us,” said Mr. Dix. “They have really taken a collaborative approach in sharing best practices. OpenX’s technical and strategic guidance is helping us plan our future.”