Well, that didn’t take long.  Back in September, I wrote that Yahoo! was taking steps towards the programmatic future and would be opening up some of their premium inventory to the programmatic buying process.  Anyone with access to an RTB platform could theoretically access this premium inventory the same way they have been buying exchange inventory for years.

yahoo premium ads

Yahoo! is right – this is a big development for display advertising.

Here we are, a few months later, and Yahoo! has announced launch partners that will expand their programmatic offering.

I’ve had experience in programmatic display going back a few years.  This segment of the industry has been a huge interest of mine. And I love the fact that buyers and sellers are moving towards automating the process on a grander scale. As far as I’m concerned, this is great news.

What Does This Mean For Programmatic Buyers?

Enabling premium inventory for programmatic buying makes it easier to scale successful campaigns. For example, historically, advertisers would sign an IO for a certain amount of inventory over a certain period of time. And let’s say that after a couple weeks it became apparent that the campaign was very successful. Since there is a contract in place, it wouldn’t be easy to adjust it on the fly. There’s lag time between publisher whipping up a revised IO, getting it back to the advertiser, and then getting final approval.  In a world that is rapidly moving towards real time, this process can be costly.

With this new scenario, the buyer could scale the successful campaign at a faster rate. Less conversions or revenue left on the table, so to speak. In addition to increased scalability, advertisers can utilize their rich 1st-party data the same way they have been coupling it with traditional exchange impressions. Instead of buying the inventory that has been guaranteed, the advertiser can choose to bid or not. So now we’re talking improved precision in addition to scale.

Anyone on the buy side, be it advertisers or their agencies, can leverage the launch partners starting now – which is exciting for us here at 3Q given our partnership with MediaMath, one of the companies who can now access guaranteed inventory through Yahoo.

Again, Direct Isn’t Dead

It will be some time before homepage takeovers, for example, will be purchased this way.  We will continue to work with account reps and make sure our clients’ goals are aligned with the way we buy media. But I welcome any efficiency improvements that make it easier to run campaigns for clients. If this shift towards programmatic means advertisers feel more comfortable shifting budget away from more traditional channels, all sides win. More investment is great for the medium.

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Sean Nowlin
Sean Nowlin has worked in the sales and marketing industry since 2000. Before joining 3Q Digital in February 2012, he spent three years running display campaigns for Progressive Insurance, a top-10 digital advertiser. Sean’s display expertise consists of managing premium publisher relationships, ad networks, Demand Side Platforms, ad verification, and Online Behavioral Advertising compliance. He has a B.A. in Marketing from Cleveland State University and an M.B.A from Weatherhead School of Management – Case Western Reserve University. Sean enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, loves technology, and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan (Indians, Browns, and Cavs). Sean's insights on display have appeared on several well read outlets, including SearchEngineJournal.com, AdRoll.com, and Retargeter.com.