A private exchange can, in theory, be a safer environment for a
publisher's first party data, so they should have a clear strategy
for how to use it. "Data is a critical piece," said Kirk McDonald,
president of Pubmatic. "You've got to have something beyond third
There's also the matter of who you let into the exchange. "The
first question every publisher asks itself is should I let my
direct sold accounts buy me programmatically, through the indirect
channel, on a private exchange or a public exchange," said Mike
Smith, Hearst's vice president of revenue platforms and operations.
Hearst operates a private exchange and Smith said that allowing
those who by direct to participate in the private exchange is a
good thing, believing that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Publishers should try to estimate the impact to their direct sales
if they go that route, understanding that some cannibalization may
What due diligence should publishers do
Discussions with vendors can be one of the best ways to learn
the ins and outs of private exchanges, said Ms. Schimel. "Go talk
to these companies" she said. "They are specialists." Ms. Schimel
said she invited a mixture of tech companies to meet with her team,
some which were geared primarily towards publishers (companies like
Rubicon and Pubmatic), others with more neutral stances. Ms.
Schimel said she and her team learned a lot after watching
presentations from the vendors, which each did their own deep dive
with their own point of view. The result was a well rounded view of
how the system works.
It's also critical to have all stakeholders on hand during these
meetings, said Ms. Schimel, everyone from sales, to ad ops, to the
data team, and even editorial. "When these things start to not
work, a lot of it is a few people make decisions," she said.
"People get upset and then you start changing your strategy because
not everybody was on board, You want to avoid that if
Is a private exchange only possible for giant
multi-brand media companies?