INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK MCCANN
Senior Vice President of Research at Raptive
Why is Raptive special in the marketplace?
Raptive, fka CafeMedia, is a new kind of creator company on a mission to power creator independence. We provide revenue, audience, and business solutions, and much more for creators and enterprise publishers. Since the beginning of digital content creation, we've been leaders in ad management and digital advertising technology, and we continue to expand our services and solutions to match the needs of the 4,000+ creators and enterprise publishers we serve.
Tell us about your role at Raptive
I’m the Senior Vice President of Research. In my role, I’m focused on ensuring creators take home the most revenue from their ads. By that, I mean that there are many choices that a creator can make in setting up their ad auctions, their interaction with ad servers, their various header bidding libraries, and whatnot. There are a million levers to pull and a million companies to partner with, and different things that a creator or an ad management company can try.
My job is to identify what those things are, to set up experiments pulling those levers, and to evaluate those tests. As a simple example, one choice could be, should we install Confiant software, which partners should we monitor, and what happens afterwards? Identifying which of the many choices to test and designing the experiments to test those choices is my role. In my experiments I can say, I thought we should pull this lever, and after we did, it increased our creator’s revenue by some percentage or it did not.
GOOGLE HEADER BIDDING MANAGER IN YIELD GROUPS
What does Google’s Header Bidding Manager do for Raptive and your publishers?
Google Header Bidding Manager (HBM) allows header bidding partners to be placed in yield groups instead of as orders in Google Ad Manager. That allows for a more fair auction between Google AdX (AdX), Open Bidding (OB), and Header Bidding - that's not subject to rounding errors. Typically publishers round the header bidding values into buckets - price buckets, and those price buckets compete with AdX. Header Bidding Manager allows the actual bids to compete with AdX. That means a more efficient auction outcome as Google begins to handle the rendering library rather than publishers setting up Prebid creatives, and thus rendering is less error prone.
The major advantages of HBM:
- A more fair auction between Google AdX (AdX), Open Bidding (OB), and Header Bidding
- Reduced points of failure while rendering than publishers setting up Prebid creatives
What happened when we first tried to gather HBM information from the Google interface?
Compliance software like Confiant activates by recognizing a partner. For example, say we want to monitor all of an SSP’s demand. It does so by looking at the response from Google Ad Manager that says - ‘this order belongs to that SSP’s order, it’s a header bidding order’. When that SSP was moved from an order into a yield group under the new HBM, compliance activation criteria didn't recognize it immediately as impressions that it should monitor. So we worked with Confiant and Google so that Confiant would be able to identify the demand coming from yield groups as well as orders, and would be able to monitor impressions within those yield groups.
That's the big feature here. We are able to use this Google feature that is important to us without losing our compliance protection. I'm told by Google that we have been the largest adopter so far of HBM. Google is going to continue to add features and push it over time, so I have no doubt that it will become more popular over time, potentially overtaking any other solution for header bidding.
WHY THE CONFIANT SOLUTION?
Confiant speeds the detection and identification of problematic ads, helping us keep them off of our publishers’ sites and saving us lots of time.
SVP of Research at Raptive
What are we doing for you as a solution?
Confiant ensures that all of the advertising that comes through meets Raptive’s quality and security standards. It keeps the publishers from having unsafe advertising on their website, whether it's interfering with the user experience, or potentially malvertising - both are very important to us. Confiant helps us by distinguishing between good and bad ad quality and removing ad-based security risks. It is our last line of defense after a variety of additional quality control measures. As you can see from the chart, there is a substantial amount of advertising out there that still doesn't meet our standards and Confiant helps us block the bad ads.
Raptive's Percentage of Ad Security and Quality Percentage Blocks, Source: Confiant
For example, our most typical workflow is to go to the Confiant alert log, change the period to the current day, and submit. I like to view the alerts by issue type, so I can see any specific issues. From our typical workflow on the platform, I can click on misleading claims and see any ads flagged for that reason, and tag the responsible SSP sources for follow-up. We use the alert log to contact partners to prevent bad ads from continuing to serve, rather than just being blocked each time. We try to work closely with our partners to eliminate these types of ads from our buyer stream without impacting ad revenues.
We’ve noticed that over time the amount of blocked ads has dramatically declined because of these efforts. So we don't just let the blocks occur. We tell the advertisers or the advertising platforms about the problems and encourage them to eliminate them before sending them to us. Without the ability to quickly identify where the bad ads are coming from, we would spend lots of time hunting for them.
- Confiant helps eliminate more than 815 million problematic ads that cause quality or security issues for Raptive's publishers each year
- Raptive can use HBM as a competitive advantage for the bidding process and still maintain excellent ad quality and security controls
- Raptive’s smart application of Google and Confiant solutions helps them build their business and their publishers’ businesses
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