SAN FRANCISCO – Investing in quality seems to be paying off huge for OpenX, the world’s largest independent advertising exchange. It just capped its 10th straight year of revenue growth, fourth consecutive year of profitability and its nascent video business saw 5,000% revenue growth in 2017.
To CEO Tim Cadogan, the industry as a whole can succeed as well by adopting recent policies to address widespread quality issues.
“We think that the challenge now has a clear answer. Which is adopt the existing quality standards and run with them,” Cadogan says in this interview with Beet.TV while attending RampUp 2018, the annual LiveRamp event.
He’s referring to the ads.txt initiative of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and standards promulgated by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.
“If a buyer buys based on TAG, buys based on ads.txt as P&G is doing, they solve eighty to ninety percent of the quality problems and they can trust the supply through which they’re buying,” says Cadogan.
OpenX is a new entrant in the video space. “We’ve benefitted from the fact that probably eighty percent of our buyers are existing buyers,” some of which have significant quality video inventory. “In the first two quarters of us working in video, about half of our leading partners are running video inventory through us.”
While announcing its 2017 financial results this week, OpenX said it would spend around $25 million this year on quality initiatives, up from $16 million last year, as The Wall Street Journal reports.
OpenX is the #1 ranked independent exchange for ads.txt, meaning the top 1,000 publishers rank Google first and OpenX second, according to Cadogan. Meanwhile, it’s put some distance between itself and competitors in dealing with the new overseas GDPR privacy regulations, “which puts all of our publishers in compliance with GDPR four months before the deadline.”
Cadogan is on the board of Acxiom, which owns LiveRamp, so he wore two hats at RampUp 2018.
“From an OpenX point of view, we are interested in helping buyers identify the users that they want to go after.” Two areas in particular are mobile and location data, “which we still think is a little bit sub-optimal, could be improved, and we’re very interested in ways to continue to prove identification more generally in the app environment.”