One of this year’s biggest trends has been the move of premium content to programmatic platforms. In the past, programmatic was considered good enough for remnant inventory, but not really appropriate for the top tier of content. Not so long ago, we heard the New York Times and Disney say they’d never do it. But as both buyers and sellers have gradually come to realize that the word “programmatic” refers to work flow, and not necessarily to auctioning off prime ad space to the second lowest bidder, more high value sites have embraced programmatic.
One of the tools that was supposed to make selling premium programmatically more transparent was Deal ID. Originally sold as the salvation for publishers, it was also to provide a guarantee of placements for advertisers. As author Jennifer Chen explained in a recent Digiday article, a Deal ID is just a unique number assigned to an automated ad buy on a publisher’s exchange. The Deal ID represents the terms of a deal negotiated between the buyer and seller in advance, including the floor price, priority and specific publisher data.
But instead of making things easier, we hear a lot of complaints from agencies about the shortcomings of Deal ID. Deal ID is supposed to allow agencies access to scale, while allowing publishers more control over their inventory and the CPMs. But according to Chen, Deal ID, which was supposed to streamline work flow, is instead often a time suck for agencies, who still have to deal with the uncertainty of whether a publisher will accept the buy, whether the selected inventory will also be put out to auction, and whether the reporting on their campaigns is accurate.
That indeed, is probably what constitutes a typical Deal ID transaction today. However, those flaws are not inherent in the Deal ID process. They’re actually in the execution. For agencies that use ZEDO’s private exchange to buy inventory for ZINC’s high impact formats, the Deal ID has been a help, rather than a hindrance.
That’s because ZINC has such a close relationship with ZEDO. ZEDO has been a publisher-side ad server since 1999, and it is the largest independent ad server in the world. Through ZEDO, we have a willing network of publishers who will enter into the deals, and our publisher development side does the scouting for the right outlets for each campaign. We execute your deal on all available publications. You sign the I/O and we will do the work that’s left to be done to put the deals together. In this way, we help our agency clients connect with our publisher partners in a seamless way that really helps both sides.