Fighting back against the Silicon Valley Giants - Fairfax Media and Mi9 set APEX live

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 31 July 2015

The data whirlpool continues to spin at a rapid rate across adland this morning as Fairfax Media and Mi9 announce the official launch of their joint venture – Australian Premium Advertising Exchange (APEX) Advertising.

The partnership creates “Australia’s first” premium, publisher brand safe mobile programmatic exchange, and follows hot on the heels of last night's News Corp Upfronts, in which it revealed a Quantium data deal, programmatic JV with MCN, and a new open content “Studio”.

APEX, which uses independent advertising technology company AppNexus and includes third party publisher Daily Mail Australia with other publishers to be invited to join the group in the future, offers media buyers premium mobile inventory and the efficiency of real time bidding (RTB) across an “unprecedented volume of quality inventory”, from more than 120 well-known, locally created mobile sites and apps.

APEX officially launched today at an exclusive Australian Premium Exchange Summit in Sydney with guest speaker Michael Rubenstein, the president of AppNexus, who shared his views on the future of global media buying and the ad tech power game with an audience of 80 media buyers, trading desks and publishers.

Speaking to AdNews, Rubenstein said APEX was a “fight back” move against the Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Facebook – which tend to threaten the traditional independent media businesses.

Also speaking to AdNews, APEX Advertising CEO Pippa Leary said the concept was first discussed up to six years ago. At that time, they were plotting the venture with likes of News Corp and Yahoo in the mix. However after it failed to get off the ground due to varying reasons, the group splintered, yet Leary said the idea and end goal to create a premium mobile inventory remained very much at the forefront of Fairfax and Mi9's plans.

APEX is Australia’s only publisher coalition where advertisers can reach audiences programmatically in real time, in mobile environments that are known and trusted,” Leary said.

It gives advertisers the scale and efficiencies of an open exchange with the safety of a private exchange.”

She stressed as the Australian programmatic market is forecast to grow to $1.4 billion by 2018, the opportunity for advertisers to target mobile audiences through premium local content, produced by local publishers for a local audience, is key and will drive further growth.

L-R: Mi9 MD Alex Parsons; APEX CEO Pippa Leary;AppNexus president Michael Rubenstein, and commercial director at Fairfax Media,Tom Armstrong.


L-R: Mi9 MD Alex Parsons; APEX CEO Pippa Leary;AppNexus president Michael Rubenstein, and commercial director at Fairfax Media,Tom Armstrong.

Alex Parsons, Mi9 managing director and chairman of the APEX joint venture, said: “This is the first publisher-led, large-scale mobile programmatic opportunity in Australia. APEX provides Australian agencies and marketers with a truly scalable alternative and guarantees a brand-safe, premium environment with inventory they know and trust. We are excited about the launch of this innovative, market leading venture.”

Fairfax Media commercial and marketing services director Tom Armstrong said the publisher coalition model has proven effective in Europe and they are confident it will prove just as effective in the Australian market with APEX.

With smartphone audiences continuing to grow, APEX allows us to offer advertisers a new means of efficiently accessing premium publisher audiences, at scale,” Armstrong said.

All participating publishers in APEX will maintain their dedicated, direct sales operations with a portion of their inventory flowing into the exchange for bidding by agencies.

Inventory from these leading publishers will be brand safe and on mobile sites and apps with high quality, professionally created content. 

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