PubMatic Launches PubConnnect

PubMatic has unveiled PubConnect, a suite of technology solutions that gives individual publishers the ability to join together and establish controlled groups to offer their pooled, premium inventory to advertisers in order to offer increased scale and reach. 

Pubmatic works with a number of premium publishers, including IDG, National Rail Enquiries, Tango Media, Hearst and Rodale. PubConnect will enable them to work together, with a lead publisher designated amongst the group, to create a private, premium advertising channel across their aggregated inventory. Speaking exclusively to Mobile Marketing this afternoon, PubMatic director, product marketing & platform strategy, Richard Sobel told us:

“This will enable a publisher to create a consortium with other premium publishers, so maybe three or four major businesses that cannot go after portal dollars on their own now can, and with that they can compete for budgets do not normally see.”

For the sake of clarity, we asked Sobel to define a portal. He defined it as a company that: “creates a unique entry way into the digital landscape based on their large user base.” And he named six companies specifically, these being Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter. This in itself raises the interesting point of what constitutes a portal. Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, we would argue, represent the old school portal. Twitter and Facebook might be defined as user-generated portals, whereas Google went the opposite direction to Yahoo; instead of trying to keep people on its own site, it managed to conjure a business model where it made its billions by sending them somewhere else. 

Sobel said the decisions on who to partner with would be publisher-led. “If they want help finding consortium partners or building an ad network or exchange, we can help,” he told us. 

This is not the first attempt to do this kind of thing. In May last year, MoPub, recently acquired by Twitter, launched MoPub Private Marketplace, which it described as a premium real-time bidding exchange, designed to reduce revenue fluctuations for publishers and increase ROI for advertisers. 

MoPub Private Marketplace is a real-time bidding auction, with a limited set of advertisers and publishers that have agreed to exclusive terms. Advertisers are given the first look at a publisher’s inventory before other demand sources, including ad networks and demand side platforms (DSPs) on MoPub Marketplace, in the private exchange. Publishers are also able to prioritize trusted content sources, and work directly with advertisers or DSPs without the hassle of managing a direct deal. 

We asked Sobel how similar the two offerings are. He told us: “The use (of) Private Marketplace adds a premium to any programmatic sale.  It’s packaged as exclusive inventory, and is generally a direct sale between agency and publisher, using the programmatic platform to execute. MoPub’s base is all application inventory, and the majority of publishers in that arena are mid and long tail. They do have a handful of premium brand publishers using them for app monetization, but their collective focus has been on the longer tail marketplace.”

PubConnect, on the other hand, is firmly targeted at the premium publisher sector.