Seeing a big shift toward premium programmatic inventory, tech publisher IDG uses Google as its centralized ad exchange but welcomes alternatives to the company’s “waterfall” suite to foster one-to-one engagement between marketers and publishers.

According to Marisa Preston, Head of Programmatic Operations & Digital Platforms at IDG TechNetwork, there’s still too much systems complexity and too many middlemen in the programmatic game. For its part, IDG has been focused less over the past year on implementing programmatic than on ensuring its worldwide growth. The publisher has unified its global exchange encompassing 112 premium owned and operated properties in 12 countries while unifying its DMP to offer global data solutions.

“We’ve seen a tremendous shift into premium marketplaces. Not just an interest in the different types of deals that we’re able to execute, but more access to premium products,” says Preston.

Having recently integrated IDG’s first pre-bid solution, Preston reflects on the prevailing trend away from Google’s auction dominance and what it offers publishers and advertisers.

“We really like getting rid of the waterfall site dynamic and having a more dynamic ad stack that we can work through,” she says. “It gives our buyers more flexibility into the exchanges they might want to utilize and gives them access to the premium supply they might not have been able to access in the marketplace before.”

IDG sees the buying and selling of digital inventory moving more toward a one-to-one relationship between brands and publishers.

“Sometimes programmatic can overlook the need to access premium audiences and premium publishers that technology vendors think they have the expertise in,” Preston observes. “As a publisher, we really know our audience and understand them well.”

This video part of a series about the state of programmatic advertising sponsored by OpenX. Please find other videos from the series here.

Programmatic in 2016, a series presented by OpenX