Australia's big four publishers to launch real-time ad exchange 'within weeks'

By Paul McIntyre | 25 March 2013

Australia's big four online publishers are just weeks away from launching their own online advertising "super group" to counter Google and the rapidly growing might of media agency-owned demand side platforms (DSPs).

The new exchange, which is a joint initiative between Fairfax Media, News Ltd., Mi9 and Yahoo!7,  is about two weeks away from being named and will launch by the end of April, AdNews understands.

The new platform is designed purely to house premium inventory from top Australian publishers in stark contrast to the online advertising that is available from Google and media agency exchanges - much of it is sourced from offshore websites which sell their Australian eyeballs.

Although the project is in the final stages of launch, one party raised some reservations about joining the super group.

"We are neither in nor out yet," the executive said. "Some parties are pushing it more than others…we want to see the value we will get out of it before we do it".

However, another executive privy to the venture told AdNews "it will happen". The launch date will be sometime in April.

Mi9 CEO Mark Britt was the only executive to talk publicly, saying his group backed the initiative. 

“We think that a premium exchange will be a good thing,”  Britt told AdNews. “The concept of real time buying (RTB) in Australia for premium inventory will be good for advertisers. The yield impact from these exchanges is positive for publishers.”

Britt would not be drawn on more details. However, others privy to the discussions said an ad exchange 'super group' for premium inventory was designed to curb much of the low cost international inventory that was being bought on local media agency exchanges and through Google.

One said it was “designed to support existing brand campaigns, not big, shitty, mass-volume, overseas inventory which, is where it [RTB exchanges] are going at the moment.”

Canada and France are said to have had good results with premium inventory exchanges similar to the one being proposed in Australia.

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