MIAMI – As a veteran of the print publishing industry—with legacy era stints at Fairchild Publications and Ziff Davis—Matt Sweeney of Xaxis sees the rise of more data-driven media buys raising ad prices for today’s digital publishers who create valuable content.
Xaxis is currently doing “a lot” of upfront deals for premium publisher inventory, something that’s lacking on the video side due to a lack of supply, according to Sweeney, who is CEO of North America for the unit of WPP’s Xaxis unit.
“Publishers should be excited about what’s happening as we evolve away from a marketplace where their impressions and the data associated with those impressions were basically flat bid against,” Sweeney says during a break at the annual Transformation conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. “I think you will see prices go up for those folks who do have something truly valuable to market.”
The lack of quality video inventory is a bigger problem, in part because of the “incredible standards” Xaxis has set for viewability and non-fraudulent activity.
“We’re working with all the third-party video viewability partners to ensure that we only buy inventory that we know is a full-episode player where someone actually takes an action to get that audio and video going,” Sweeney says.
To better inform its digital buys, Xaxis has invested north of $50 million on platforms like Turbine and Spotlight Xaxis, the latter of which has brought more transparency to the fore. Key to these efforts is a focus on the science of building out algorithms to inform more precise consumer targeting.
On the subject of transparency, Sweeney says of Spotlight: “Our best partners have seen it, they have access to the tool, they can log in themselves.”