AppNexus launches ad industry’s first programmable demand side platform

AppNexus launches ad industry’s first programmable demand side platform
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AppNexus is hoping to shake up the world of buy-side advertising with the industry’s first programmable demand side platform (DSP).

The AppNexus Programmable Platform (APP) uses machine learning in order to allow traders to manage and execute multiple customised and complex strategies. The company states that the platfrom allows for greater effecinecy in setting up campaigns, as well as managing and modifying them. Traders buy views rather than impressions with the platfrom’s identity and attribution capabilities.

The release is the first stage in what the company is calling an “aggressive” buy-side push in 2018.

“Most demand side platforms today don’t fundamentally differ from the DSPs that were built during the first decade of programmatic, and that’s obviously a problem,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus.

“The next generation of DSPs should leverage machine learning to more efficiently manage an ever-larger number of campaign variables, minimize manual intervention, and deliver superior optimization tied to marketer KPIs. With APP, the world’s first and only programmable DSP, traders can spend less time on setup and delivery and more time strategizing on the intuitive, creative aspects of advertising that change a person’s perception of a brand.”

One company testing the platfrom in closed beta, Greenhouse Group, reported that the platform brought in a 13% better performance and took the trader 73% less time.

Bid price optimisation

The release is a big step away from cookie-based targeting and impression-based buying, both of which AppNexus consider to be outdated. Instead, the platform uses ‘deterministic cross-device’ capabilities to target people.

Other features that are likely to be of interest to brands are the in-built supply path optimisation, which measures the most efficient path to supply for traders operating Open RTB, and automatic bid price optimisation. This uses machine learning to shade bids when traders are operating in first price auctions. This feature is aimed at trying to ensure that buyers win auctions at a suitable market price.

The platfrom will add limited human interventions into the mix with its machine learning in order to try and protect against fraud and maximise brand safety.   

“Legacy supply-side platforms have experienced rapid attenuation in recent months, and we expect DSPs to follow a similar path toward commoditization and obsolescence,” continued O’Kelley.

“We were determined to reinvent the DSP, and we built a new product from the ground up that transforms the role of the trader. There aren’t enough hours in the day to perform the same calibrations and interventions manually, and APP allows the professional trader to get closer to strategy.”


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