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Ad Network Casale Media Readies SSP

Platform showcases real-time bid map
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Casale Media, an ad network that specializes in real-time bidding, has launched its own supply-side platform for publishers designed to help them sell excess inventory in an automated fashion, or set up private marketplaces.

Dubbed the Index Platform, the new product, which will effectively compete with PubMatic, Google's AdMeld and The Rubicon Project, will feature several unique bells and whistles, including a real-time visualization of an advertiser's bids on a map of North America with an adjoining stream displaying factors such as the price of each bid and what ad categories are involved.

“It’s information that people assume or kind of just take for granted, but when you actually see it, I think it makes the model a little more real,” said Andrew Casale, vp of strategy at Casale Media. The platform also lets publishers view metrics such as bids-per-second and bids-per-impression.

Gatehouse Media, Adhance Media and Casale’s own Casalex ad exchange are lauch customers, and the platform has integrated with 25 demand-side partners, including Adnetik, Criteo, DataXu, Invite Media (now called DoubleClick Bid Manager) MediaMath, the Trade Desk and Turn.

The 10-year-old company has traditionally been positioned primarily as an ad network. When the RTB craze hit three years ago, Casale Media chose to go supply side while others like Turn and ValueClick went demand side, Casale said. “We see the SSP segment of the market a little underrepresented,” said Casale. “There’s a handful of SSPs, but now there’s somewhere around 40 or 50 DSPs. So it’s a good time to innovate and bring a new option to publishers.”

Casale Media’s move comes as SSPs like PubMatic look to expand beyond their traditional bailiwick. Casale said those companies are “trying to replace the ad server,” an endeavor he’s unsure will succeed.

“If you talk to any major publisher that’s a DFP shop and most are, that’s pretty well wired into their infrastructure in every way and making a move away from that ad server is unlikely to happen anytime soon,” he said. “While I think it’s a great thing to talk about and sounds really interesting, I think it’s highly unlikely you’re going to see a mass exodus of publishers from the DoubleClick platform.” Instead Casale Media’s approach is to “find ways to bolt solutions into it that fully equip publishers to transact in this model while maintaining the same infrastructure they have.”