AT&T’s Xandr is debuting its sell-side platform Xandr Monetize, a rebrand of AppNexus technology that aims to eventually connect media companies with ad buyers to sell both programmatic OTT and linear TV inventory.
Sell side platforms, more commonly known as SSPs, are used by media companies to automate the selling of ads to marketers; AT&T acquired AppNexus last year, its strongest offering by far being its SSP. With Xandr Monetize, AT&T says it will inject its data and analytics into the platform.
Axel Springer, Microsoft and Warner Media, which AT&T also acquired, are among the media companies that will be using Xandr Monetize to sell their inventory. Initially, marketers will only be able to buy OTT programmatically, but in the future, Xandr says it will also include linear TV as well, says Michael Richardson, VP of publisher products at Xandr.
Xandr is eyeing linear TV “because that is where a large part of our business comes from,” Richardson says. “But we’ll also be supporting the digital focused premium video; there’s a blending of linear and digital happening with TV convergence and we want to make sure we are at the forefront.”
For sellers, this means Monetize can connect through a litany of different demand side platforms, which are used by marketers in the automated purchasing of ads. “With Monetize, we are focused on the sellers and one of their concerns is having access to as much demand as possible,” Richardson says. “The scale issue is something we are actively working on both the buy and sell side, but we are not trying to shoving everything in this release.”
Header bidding makes big screen debut
Marketers will be able to make ad buys in a way that's similar to buying digital display through header bidding, which lets publishers solicit bids on their inventory from multiple pools of buyers all at once, driving up prices while also giving equal footing to ad buyers to compete for ads.
Monetize is bringing the concept of header bidding to its programmatic OTT offering with Prebid, which it says will allow competitive separation across multiple SSPs for digital inventory.
Monetize will also make use of server side technology, which allows ads to be bought, sold and served much quicker than through a user's device or browser. “That’s a pretty big move for our media companies,” Richardson says. “It further reinforces that we are providing a neutral and transparent playing field.”