Where’s the innovation in guaranteed ad sales?

In “How publishers sell ad inventory,” Eric Picard of Rare Crowds gives a great overview of how guaranteed ad inventory is bought and sold. In his conclusion, he makes an excellent point:

“For all the innovation in the ad-tech space over the last decade, it’s fairly impressive that very few of the core problems of a publisher have been solved. At the end of the day, 60-80 percent of the revenue that publishers bring in comes from their premium inventory, sold on a guaranteed basis — which represents generally less than half of all their available inventory. Nearly all the ad technology innovation in the last decade has focused on what to do with that other half in order to raise the median price of that revenue from nearly zero to a bit more than zero.”

It makes no sense that the big piece of the pie has been neglected by technologists. They’ve been focused on algorithms and transactions to maximize the value of remnant inventory. How about match-making and workflow to maximize the value of premium inventory?

Technology for buying and selling premium is a big opportunity. This is a hot space for innovation.

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