In an exclusive interview with VideoWeek, Matt Barash, Vice President at IndexExchange, provides valuable insights into the ever-evolving programmatic advertising landscape. With over 20 years of experience, IndexExchange has transformed from an ad network into a formidable exchange model, helping publishers monetize their assets. Barash highlights the seismic shifts witnessed in the industry, emphasizing the rise of quality and video as paramount factors driving change.
As the global economy faced challenges over the past year, Barash notes that the programmatic advertising market experienced long-awaited consolidation. Previously, companies solely focused on representing the supply side and the sell side. However, some players, including public companies, expanded their horizons by engaging agencies and holding companies, actively seeking to secure demand and operate on both sides of the transaction. This shift redefined the traditional notion of an ad network.
Simultaneously, the industry witnessed certain SSPs struggling financially and closing their doors, while prominent companies decided to shutter their SSP and supply businesses. Amid these transformations, IndexExchange remains steadfast in its belief that the market is moving towards prioritizing quality and championing video. Barash emphasizes that all stakeholders, whether on the buy side or the sell side, are seeking to streamline their partnerships, aiming to achieve more with fewer collaborators.
For IndexExchange, this represents a long-term commitment to excellence. The company is determined to double down on enhancing the transactional relationship between the buy side and the sell side. Their focus lies in developing best-in-class products and technologies that enable efficient marketplaces. Additionally, they aim to empower the buy side to better comprehend programmatic video buying, as the channel itself is still in its nascent stages of evolution.
Looking back at the past decade, Barash points out a misalignment between ad tech and media. These two critical components of the industry struggled to understand each other, hindering progress. However, now is the opportune moment to level the playing field. With the explosive growth of DTV (Digital Television), conversations at industry events like Cannes Lions are dominated by discussions on the future of this channel.
Barash further explains that the increasing complexity of programmatic advertising presents a challenge for major broadcasters who were previously accustomed to linear models. Measurement becomes a pivotal factor, and broadcasters strive to comprehend partner and vendor selection to adapt to evolving standards. Meanwhile, agencies and buyers are steadily moving their investments into the channel. The role of the SSP, as Barash describes it, is to facilitate transactions, aligning with the trend of shifting from the open marketplace to controlled spending.
Controlled spending manifests in various ways. It may involve publishers agreeing to programmatic guaranteed fixed rates with buyers on a one-to-one basis. Alternatively, it could be part of a package deal. However, the legacy of the open marketplace does not seamlessly apply to the world of Connected TV (CTV) today.
Matt Barash envisions a future where programmatic advertising embraces quality, video, and efficient marketplaces. IndexExchange, with its extensive experience and unwavering commitment, stands at the forefront of this transformative landscape. As the industry continues to evolve, it is poised to navigate the complexities of programmatic advertising, ushering in a new era of understanding between ad tech and media.