“We started thinking about how we can offer solutions that enable our clients to work with one partner and satisfy all their objectives. They’re already asking, and we’re responding to an opportunity,” Welker said. “It’s about being proactive and really understanding how the marketplace has evolved. This will drive monetization but not just through the lens of remnant.”
Hearst has an unusual position among publishers. It owns a data management platform, the recently renamed Core Audience (formerly Red Aril), which it will use to help power the exchange. Pubmatic is providing the private exchange technology.
Hearst will, of course, monitor and control which clients have access to inventory to avoid channel conflicts with its direct sales teams. But ultimately, it’s hoping that more robust audience data can help it better monetize its brand display ad offerings, too, by demonstrating clearer return on investment and its ability to reach specific audiences. “We wanted to find a way throughout technology to both demonstrate the value of our audience and our brand, but also provide clients with greater efficiencies,” Welker said.
Inventory across Hearst’s portfolio of more than 25 digital brands, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Seventeen and Good Housekeeping, will be available via the marketplace. Its rival, Conde Nast, rolled out a private exchange of its own atop Google’s AdMeld technology earlier this year.
Since the focus of the exchange is not about clearing unsold media, Hearst will continue to work with other third-party sales houses and networks, Welker added.