COLOGNE — When it comes to new revenue, the digital advertising world now looks increasingly like Google’s and Facebook’s.

But there is now a groundswell movement in which publishers want to regain control of their ad-tech stack and, with it, the rules of the road.

At the DMEXCO digital ad industry gathering in Germany, The Guardian’s programmatic head said his newspaper wanted to do just that – and one ad-tch vendor there echoed the view, saying control is certainly on offer.

“Publishers are trying to gain control,” says PubMatic EMEA VP Bill Swanson, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“We see control around ad decisioning, being in control of how they allow demand to access and view or view their inventory. They can wrestle or maintain that control, and put rules in place for how they wish to work with demand sources.”

Swanson once came from the publisher side. A former MD of Independent News & Media and commercial manager for News International, he helped nurture the commercial strategies of some of the UK’s leading online news brands through their formative stages, pre-programmatic.

Now working at PubMatic, the ad-tech platform that mostly serves publishers, helping them set up private marketplaces for ad sales, he sees the lay of the land across Europe and beyond.

“The threat of Google and Facebook, in terms of it being 85% of all digital ad spend going to those two players, is real,” Swanson acknowledges.

But he says publishers should do a better job of collaborating against the shared threat.

“Publishers need to be open with each other,” he says. “Across Europe, the problem is they’re not monetising as well as they could do, they’re not controlling how people access their inventory.”

For a news industry that used to be fiercely and famously competitive, the collaborative impulse may not come easy.

This video is part a series that examines programmatic from both the seller and the buyer perspective. It is presented by PubMatic. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.