News Corp today announced plans to launch a global programmatic ad exchange that will let advertisers buy across its more than 50 online and mobile products including WSJ.com, Times.co.uk and NYPost.com.
News Corp is far from the first to jump on the automated selling trend; other premium content companies have been creating such exchanges to capitalize on advertisers’ desire to adopt the speed and efficiency of programmatic buying while keeping the publisher’s ad inventory from being mixed in with nonpremium content that’s available on the open Web. (The Wall Street Journal already had its own private ad exchange, WSJ AUDEX, which it launched in 2012, and that will continue to operate.)
The announcement of News Corp Global Exchange is noteworthy for its size, though, given the company is one of a few premium content publishers with extensive reach around the world. News Corp is the publishing arm that formed when Rupert Murdoch’s media behemoth separated its news and entertainment businesses earlier this summer, and it’s challenged to prove its worth as a stand-alone newspaper unit.
Today’s news also comes as marketers are increasingly demanding the ability to execute cross-country media buys, which is becoming more possible with the emergence of digital media platforms.
Eric Bader, CMO of RadiumOne, a digital ad buying platform, said the move is a smart one for News Corp. "It's a cost saver," he said. "It improves volume because there's much better access and opportunity for News Corp to sell complex deals that go across titles."
As with all programmatic buying, the risk for publishers is that they'll cede profit margin in doing scale-driven ad deals, while advertisers have to make sure they don't buy overlapping audiences, Bader said, as in the case of News Corp's financial sites like WSJ.com and Marketwatch.com.
"No one wants to give up margin to sell multiple properties to an advertiser," Bader said.
Supporting the exchange will be The Rubicon Project, the platform that News Corp uses to connect to trading desks at all major media buyers. News Corp said that each of its business units will continue to have dedicated ad sales teams.