AppNexus serves up 'fee-transparent' supply-side platform

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 December 2018

Ad tech firm AppNexus has inked direct deals with publishers and third-party transparency companies in order to promise a fee-transparent supply-side platform (SSP).

The global platform, which enables real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising, said the move is a programmatic “advertising industry” first, giving buyers an “unprecedented level” of visibility into technology fees.

In Q4 of 2017 AppNexus began approaching direct publisher clients with agreements to offer transparency of their technology fees to buyers.

The move follows weaknesses and structural problems felt across the industry in what some argue is a messy digital supply chain. Fears over murkiness in the supply chain has created a culture of unease and distrust with clients - with AppNexus being one of the most vocal players to talk about its transparency stance.

Speaking to AdNews earlier this year, Tan spoke about publishers taking back control of how they monetise their inventory and to stop being beholden to the duopoly.

Microsoft backs the move with its VP of global display advertising, Barry Dougan, supporting the buying experience.

“Microsoft is committed to partnering with AppNexus in many industry-leading practices to ensure openness and trust between buyers, sellers, and technology providers,” Dougan says.

The new AppNexus agreements represent 82% of transactions on direct sellers in the US and 58% of transactions on direct sellers globally, giving AppNexus permission to make seller technology fees on each impression available confidentially to buyers transacting with the AppNexus SSP.

Essentially, the exposure of technology fees gives marketers and agencies the ability to monitor and make informed decisions about their media spend.

Buyers can currently view seller technology fees on the AppNexus platform through third-party reporting. It works by AppNexus integrating with transparency partners that track transactions through the supply chain, including Lucidity and AD/FIN, as well as Amino Payments.

Ryan Christensen, SVP of product at Xandr – the AT&T-owned ad tech unit that sits above AppNexus, says giving advertisers increased transparency in the global marketplace is the firm's priority and it is “leading the charge”

“We want our buyers to know that when you transact on AppNexus supply, you have visibility into your working media dollars,” Christensen says.

“AppNexus takes pride in being on the forefront of critical initiatives that instill trust in the supply chain and bring maximum visibility and benefit to our clients.”

Vincent Paolozzi, EVP of innovation at Magna says end-to-end fee transparency is now table stakes for an IPG exchange partnership.

“We’re thrilled that AppNexus is championing this initiative and we take great confidence in partnering with the AppNexus SSP knowing we have access to such a high degree of transparent inventory.”

In addition to partnering with third-party transparency companies, AppNexus is piloting a proprietary fee transparency report to give marketers and agencies insight into seller technology fees across the AppNexus SSP.

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