I disagree with the view that publishers should increasingly trust real-time bidding and deliver more premium inventory through RTB suppliers (Digital Strategy, 15 September).
Currently, RTB is an efficient means for liquidating remnant inventory, but it has not yet proved itself to be effective at selling premium inventory.
In other words, RTB suppliers will undervalue premium inventory and, for this reason, publishers should exercise caution when extending their trust.
Fundamentally, the price a publisher commands for its online advertising comes from the distinct qualitative value it offers its unique content, brand and image as well as being able to control the availability of its inventory. In an auction-based environment, the qualitative value is stripped away, inventory availability is blown open, and all that’s left is an essentially infinite supply of indistinct, valueless impressions.
Publishers are better off leveraging their brand, focusing on selling premium inventory and restricting the sale of remnant inventory.