It is now nine months since a Digital Content Next analysis first showed that Google and Facebook were gobbling an extraordinary 90% of all new digital ad dollars.

The figure wasn’t out on its own. It was one approximated by a Morgan Stanley analysis. Together, they have scared the publishing industry.

AppNexus, an alternative advertising network operator, says publishers are desperate for a change.

“Publishers haven’t had good options for monetizing their inventory,” says company president Michael Rubenstein in this video interview with Beet.TV. “For 10-plus years, they’ve been stuck behind this Google monopoly.”

But Rubenstein says times may be changing. “Publishers are really voting with their feet right now – they’re looking for ways to increase monetisation in a way where they’re taking more control and they have more transparency.

“Publishers are looking for alternatives. Publishers are seeking independent solutions that are going to allow them to capitalize on the growing online advertising pie.”

So, what’s the problem with the big two? Some industry observers say the move of spending to Google and Facebook is really just a flight to safety, in a tumultuous world where ad-tech operators come and go, and equally snaffle a proportion of spend.

Rubenstein takes the big two to task like this: “They don’t have an empowerment philosophy as it relates to brands and publishers. They’re not trying to help those companies create independent, self-sustaining businesses.”

AppNexus lately has been building a profile in header bidding, the advertising technology that lets publishers call on multiple ad demand sources simultaneously, using the header of a web page on a consumer’s computer.

But header is changing. “Server-to-server is one of the most important trends for publishers,” says Rubenstein, whose company recently inked a server-to-server integration deal with Index Exchange, citing lower latency and better ad server integration.

This video is part of a series produced at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. Beet.TV’s coverage of this event is sponsored by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.