Programmatic Darwinism: How Publishers Are Determining Which Supply Chain Components Survive

Programmatic Darwinism: How Publishers Are Determining Which Supply Chain Components Survive

By Alena Morris, Senior Director, Product Marketing at PubMatic

Digital publishers are determinedly looking for efficiencies across their businesses in the face of short-term economic constrictions and looming shifts in data privacy regulations and policies. In addition to these immediate headwinds, many publishers have been feeling pressure across their business for more than a decade. That’s not because they’re failing to deliver the quality content and compelling experiences that their audiences desire. It’s because the digital advertising supply chain that underpins much of their financial success hasn’t evolved in a way that aligns with their needs—and in some cases, might even be trying to undercut them.

The programmatic tech stack and supply chain are evolving faster than ever. Let’s look at how its next evolution needs to address core publisher challenges head-on.

Fee Reduction, Pricing Control and Data Safety

The ongoing evolution of the programmatic landscape is heavily focused on reducing fees, with the end goal of creating more working media for publishers. The tech stack is evolving to reduce the hops and inefficiencies that stand between advertisers and publishers, ultimately translating to more revenue for publishers.

At the same time, one of the biggest challenges that publishers face is that some DSPs’ pricing mechanisms are effectively driving down their CPMs—and not by the choice of the publishers themselves. This lack of control puts publishers at a significant disadvantage when it comes to charting their financial futures—which is why platforms that restore control to publishers will represent the future of the programmatic supply chain.

As our industry adapts to the current privacy-first environment, publishers know that it’s critical to ensure the highest level of safety regarding the data that powers advertisers’ campaigns. This is yet another defining characteristic of the self-contained platforms that are emerging to address publishers’ challenges, providing for less data-leakage, higher match rates, lower fraud, increased transparency and stronger performance than traditional, multi-hop programmatic supply chains.

Additional Benefits of the Supply Chain of the Future

Beyond fee reduction, pricing control and data safety, other publisher needs have changed as they relate to the supply chain too. Here are a few additional areas where they’re looking for their platforms and partnerships to deliver new value:

Video buy automation: To maximize efficiency and facilitate relationships with advertisers, publishers need a unified programmatic platform that enables quick and easy deal setup around digital video and CTV inventory. Such platforms must deliver advanced features, including pacing controls and detailed reporting, in order to help publishers make the most of their inventory via programmatic video deals.

Workflow efficiency: Most publishers today are spending an inordinate amount of time on campaign troubleshooting, optimization and customer support. By leveraging the latest in automation technology, publishers are able to streamline their workflows and drive better results for advertisers.

Sustainability and responsibility: The advertising industry has awoken to the need for a sustainable and responsible media supply chain. For publishers, solutions representing one layer of tech create fewer carbon emissions than the standard programmatic supply chains. Emerging supply chain alternatives enable publishers to reduce their carbon footprint and expand their green spending—in other words, achieving their KPIs while making a positive change.

Sellers of digital media must continue to demand a more efficient, transparent and sustainable supply chain that delivers on the true promise of programmatic. They need solutions that make programmatic advertising work better for buyers, while also maximizing their ability to drive revenue. Those that deliver on the above needs will be the ones that rewrite the future of the digital publishing industry.