COLOGNE – Could it be that the digital supply chain is finally growing up? It’s definitely maturing, with signs of consolidation, less innovation and indications that marketers’ calls for greater transparency are having an impact, according to Andrew Casale.

If all of this were true, Casale would know. Back in 2003 he founded Casale Media in the programmatic space and has molded it into its current iteration, Index Exchange, a global advertising marketplace where premium digital media companies sell their ad impressions with full transparency.

“The digital supply chain is growing up. I would say it’s probably the single greatest positive bright light that we’re seeing at events like this,” the President and CEO of Index Exchange says in this interview with Beet.TV at the DMEXCO advertising and media trade show.

He credits initiatives like the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers) rollout in May of 2016 to reduce domain spoofing and reselling in the open marketplace. And, like others, he points to Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s widely circulated criticisms of the digital ecosystem as a key catalyst for change.

“Marketers want more. They expect more. And we are seeing the supply chain grow up,” says Casale.

But there’s more to be done. For example, “spoofing” is still a problem. “It is all too often easy today for a bad actor to penetrate the supply chain and purport to be anybody they want. Purport to be a huge brand. That’s a problem if you’re trying to create an environment of trust,” Casale adds.

He would welcome more bold statements from marketers along the lines of “we will only buy authorized media. That would be a huge step forward and I think we’re starting to get there because that’s going to give teeth to changes required to get past the trust issues that we have today.”

In addition to a “cooling of investment” in the ad tech sector, Casale observes a slowdown of innovation. In its place we see strong digital platforms become bigger, sometimes through acquisitions, along with a dissipation of fragmentation “and quite frankly some of the confusion.”

The resulting maturation is a welcome course change.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar business today that still suffers from trust challenges,” says Casale. “It’s difficult to innovate on top of that until we’ve corrected for some of those deficiencies. But it feels like a fresh new era of programmatic just getting started.”

This video was produced as part of Beet.TV leadership series from DMEXCO, presented by NBCUniversal. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.