Publisher Media Exchange (PMX) is a white-label version of the Right Media Exchange (RMX), a platform that allows publishers to offer up remnant inventory, which ad networks will buy on behalf of their advertisers. The exchange, which now has approximately 11,000 buyers and sellers, is designed to minimize the number of middle men in each transaction, and route transactions to the ad network offering the highest ROI.
"PMX gives publishers the ability to centralize demand for their non-premium ad inventory. They can earn more revenue from that ad space and control what kinds of ads appear there," Michael Walrath, CEO and founder of Right Media, told ClickZ.
Several large publishers have signed up to use PMX on their sites, including Community Connect, Fox Interactive Media, LookSmart, Six Apart, Tickle, Tribune and WomensForum. Most of these publishers use PMX to sell inventory to existing ad network partners, as well as tap into the RMX buying community to sell space, according to Walrath.
"Often, they will take a phased approach, starting with a couple of relationships on the exchange," he said.
Most large publishers have an existing sales force or third-party rep firm to sell their premium ad space, and PMX will not change that, Walrath said. But some top-tier publishers have billions of non-premium ad impressions, anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of total inventory, which they usually sell through ad networks.
The value of this non-premium inventory is not maximized when the publisher puts that inventory in the hands of multiple third-party intermediaries, Walrath said. "Instead of leaving money on the table, publishers can create a competitive marketplace to get the most value from their network partners," he said.
Publishers pay a per-transaction fee for PMX, which is best suited to large publishers with their own ad sales force. Another product, RMX Direct, targets smaller publishers and will launch next month.
LookSmart, which publishes more than 180 vertical search sites, saw immediate benefits when it first began using PMX this summer, according to Bryan Everett, LookSmart's SVP of sales. "We sent unsold impressions directly to the Right Media Exchange where they were sold to the highest bidders. By trafficking our chain of ad networks into the system, our partner networks competed with each other and dozens of other buyers for every impression, helping to increase eCPMs within days," he said.
Rather than cut out ad networks, Walrath has said that RMX will help weed out those ad networks that are not adding value to the transaction. Those offering advanced targeting, reporting and optimization; or packaging inventory creatively to improve revenue optimization for publishers will benefit from participating in the exchange, since these factors will contribute to an ad network's rise to the top in RMX's algorithms that determine where to route each transaction.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
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