Five Minutes With: AppNexus ANZ director of market development Samuel Tan

Samuel Tan

This first appeared in the June issue of AdNews Magazine.

What is the most common concern you are getting from clients right now?

Our clients continue to be concerned over the growing share of dollars that the duopoly continues to take. There is definitely a sense of frustration that there isn’t a level playing field as reflected in some of the media owner submissions to the current ACCC inquiry. Clients are uncertain of how to work with the duopoly on their own terms.

AppNexus has said that “you can't create an open marketplace from inside a black box”, what do you mean by this?

Our goal is to become the most trusted and transparent marketplace in the world for quality digital advertising. For this to be true, both buyers and sellers need to understand and have visibility over every participant in each digital transaction. They can then evaluate the value from each and determine the true cost of doing business.

Pre and post major industry-wide transparency concerns, how have you pivoted/changed the business?

We’ve been fortunate in that the principles of trust and transparency, have been core values of how we have operated AppNexus ANZ director of market development, Samuel Tan our business for a long time. We’re healthier than ever and the industry concerns have meant that other ad tech companies have been forced to play by the same rules or at least answer some tough questions from their clients.

Where are we with rebuilding trust and transparency as an industry? Are we there yet?

We’re cautiously optimistic with the progress we’ve seen across the industry but there is still a long way to go. Many companies are only just starting to take ownership and ask or answer the hard questions.

What does transparency look like to you?

For us it’s pretty simple; do you know who in the value chain is clipping the ticket and how much money is landing in the pockets of
content creators? Platforms need to be held more accountable for surfacing this type of data to its customers.

What are you doing to ensure high inventory quality and how do people know they can trust you?

AppNexus invests significant resources to take on bad actors in the ecosystem, particularly in regard to invalid traffic, domain spoofing and unauthorised re-selling, in addition to having some of the most far-reaching prohibitions against hate speech and fake news. We also supported the IAB’s global Ads.txt initiative straight off the bat. We want clients to dig in for themselves. We don’t claim to be perfect but we’re working very hard at staying ahead of the bad actors and introducing or supporting ways to continue to improve the trustworthiness of our marketplace.

How can clients better prepare in 2018?

Given the increasing market share of the duopoly, both buyers and sellers need to clearly articulate their value proposition and show how they add value outside of the duopoly. They should also choose their partners wisely; if your partner still wins when you lose, there’s something to look into.

What does AppNexus want to be best known for in market? 

We want to be known as the most trusted and transparent marketplace for quality digital advertising. A key differentiator of AppNexus is the deep, strategic partnerships we forge with our clients. We integrate with their teams to truly understand their business goals, build comprehensive account plans and collaborate on execution.

See it first in print - sign up now


AdNews is proud to deliver strong, independent and credible news 24-hours a day, almost 365 days a year. And we know our free, online news helps power your career and knowledge. But, can we ask a small favour? To fund our ongoing commitment to delivering the best industry news, that you show your willingness to support us by taking a digital subscription to AdNews magazine? The cost is less than $50 for the entire year, and $4.94 per issue. Support AdNews. Support journalism.

To support AdNews see here.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus