Axel Springer signs deal with AppNexus which could mean ditching Google

Tyrone Stewart

Axel SpringerAxel Springer, one of the largest digital publishing houses in Europe, has formed a partnership with advertising technology company AppNexus. The partnership will see the German publisher ‘progressively adopt AppNexus’ enterprise technology products’ – this will include its ad server.

The decision to use AppNexus’ ad server will see Axel Springer halt its use of Google’s DoubleClick, and presents a major bit of business for AppNexus in winning out over the tech giant.

Starting in 2018, Axel Springer brands Business Insider,,, among others, will slowly begin to adopt AppNexus’ enterprise tech.

“We are seeing great potential from a more intense collaboration between Axel Springer’s many digital offerings,” said Andreas Wiele, president of marketing and classified ad models at Axel Springer. “With AppNexus’ technology, we create the technological base for this which will be particularly beneficial to our digital marketing.”

AppNexus’ technology, across all digital channels, formats, and application purposes, is open and programmable. This will enable Axel Springer brands to connect their inventories and systems, and link to external customer processes.

Brian O’Kelley, CEO of AppNexus, said: “Our technology helps independent publishers deepen their audience relationships and grow their businesses. It’s part of our commitment to building a better internet. We look forward to establishing a technology partnership with Axel Springer in Europe and beyond.”

In addition to forming the partnership with Axel Springer, ad tech company has launched a server-side header bidding solution.

The Prebid Server, available for to all publishers that meet guidelines, is a transparent, open-source technology. It is said to address the limitations of traditional header bidding, while offering ‘publishers the choice of drawing unique demand from AppNexus and Facebook, and shortly, Index Exchange and PubMatic.

Prebid Server works in conjunction with prebid.js. According to AppNexus, this combination enables publishers to select demand partners to call directly through their header bidding wrapper, while calling other partners through Prebid Server.

“The days of exorbitant take-rates, hidden revenue share, and opaque pricing are drawing to a close, as publishers grow acutely aware that Google has forced them to compete on an uneven playing field for only a subset of available quality demand,” said Michael Richardson, senior director ofr product line management at AppNexus.

In what’s been a busy period for AppNexus, it also introduced policy changes regarding the access to and use of its data. These policy changes are part of its drive toward compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so that it’s all set once the regulation takes effect in May 2018.

Furthermore, the company says it is ‘committed to working with partners to build tools that meet GDPR’s enhanced transparency, access and choice requirements.

“GDPR is a coming reality, and companies that don’t prepare for it will find themselves locked out of European markets,” said O’Kelley “AppNexus believes in the fundamental goals of the GDPR. We are deeply committed to working with regulators as we help marketers engage consumers with relevant and preserve the fundamental right of our clients’ end users to the protection of their personal data.” 

The initiative will see AppNexus review its list of partners, and discontinue its work with partners it deems not to comply with its updated requirements for use of its data. It also plans to expand its European data centre architecture to make sure that data from Europe stays in Europe.

“GDPR will change the way that internet companies do business in Europe,” O’Kelley continued. “Advertising is the power source of the open internet. It’s incumbent upon all digital publishers and advertisers to work with technology companies that take privacy seriously.”