Media Buying Platforms

What is a Media Buying Platform?

A Media Buying Platform is simply a tool which enables the purchasing of advertising space around the web. It facilitates a transaction between the advertiser (buyer) and a publisher (seller). A lot of this happens at large scale across a huge range of publishers, platforms and websites, but they can be quite niche as well.

The prominence of these tools is due to the rapid expansion of the internet, and the high demand of consumers to access free content, there necessarily needs to be a lot of advertising to support the publishers business. The combination of rich targeting options and competitive advertisers means that the old fashioned method of striking a deal directly with a publisher sometimes won’t cut it!

What are The Benefits of a Platform?

A brand might consider using a media buying platform if they want to continue the push their budgets as much as possible. Having a lower threshold or minimum spend for smaller advertisers gives the advantage to a platform, whereas purchasing directly can often entail an expensive package with many features (home page ads, EDMs, social posts, etc.). Cutting out extraneous spend ensures only the most relevant points of contact with a brand are made.

Avoiding the extended sales process is also of benefit. Media agencies and brands are constantly presented with options for buying into a network or website and sold with many promises of success. The process of dealing with sales people can be time consuming and difficult to tell fact from fiction.

A Changing Ad Platform Landscape?

Traditional media buying in the online space will probably exist, in some form, for a number of years yet. This is as much do to the industry itself as the technology which powers it. Many of the larger publishers and ad networks have dedicated teams which have experience in selling packages and will be slow to adopt a fully programmatic approach. Much of the culture of advertising for larger campaigns still happens outside the platform.

It’s also a common thread with in new or emerging software and startup companies that they will begin with a period of ad-free content at the start, in order to grow a user base with no advertising. When these companies reaching maturation point they will slowly bring on advertising partners which are highly relevant for their audience and are closely aligned with that brand. After this many companies may start to take a self-service approach and open up the platform for a wider range of brands to begin the bidding process. Companies such as Snapchat and Instagram started this.

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