SpotXchange Allow RTB Buyers to Choose Between Auto and User-Initiated Ads

SpotXchange LogoSpotXchange claim they are the first RTB supply source to allow bidders to distinguish between auto-initiated (i.e. those that play automatically when the user lands on the page) and user-initiated ads (i.e. ads that require a voluntarily click, usually to reach content). Before RTB buyers were unable to know whether they were buying user or auto-initiated placements, which have sometimes been bundled together by ad networks and then sold at a flat CPM.

Advertisers are willing to pay a premium for user-initiated ads, which tend to have higher levels of consumer engagement, so it’s useful for buyers to be able to value each placement independently.

“SpotXchange continues to lead the charge towards transparency in the video exchange space,” said Adrian Tompsett, Vice President of Business Development at DataXu. “By providing the initiation type along with site data, SpotXchange enables advertisers to make more efficient buying decisions for each individual campaign.”

“There is a strong need for this industry to provide our partners and clients with better information to do their jobs more effectively,” said Michael Shehan, president and CEO of SpotXchange.  “By providing the initiation type to our RTB partners, it helps them to better price their bids and make smarter buys on behalf of their clients. Being the first company to provide this information is yet another example of SpotXchange working hard every day to be one of the most transparent brokers in the online advertising industry.”

SpotXchange’s transparency feature will be available to its buy-side partners, including Turn, TubeMogul, DataXu, LiveRail, MaxPoint Interactive, Brainient and SundaySky.

A Welcome Development for Video RTB

SpotXchange are to be applauded for introducing more transparency and the rest of the sell-side video RTB will have to quickly catch up.

If RTB is to to be taken seriously by brand advertisers, the industry needs to get the basics right. And offering buyers transparency on how the ad is initiated is most definitely one of those basics.

Not having that choice is akin to a display advertiser not being able to choose between a regular placement and a pop-up, although it could be argued that the audio actually makes auto-initiated ads even more annoying and intrusive. There are few things more irritating online that having to flick through all of your browser’s tabs in an attempt to find the one that’s playing an auto-initiated video.

That said, auto-generated ads will in all likelihood continue to carve out a niche for themselves, whether that’s for performance campaigns or for the types of advertisers who are comfortable with annoying people into remembering their brand. It’s going to be interesting to see how transparency affects the number of auto-generated ads we see on the exchanges.

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