Quantity and quality
In the latter half of 2015, Fairfax Media, MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ sent out a joint statement announcing the formation of KPEX and the appointment of Duncan Arthur as the consulting chief executive of the organisation.
“We’re a one-stop shop,” says Arthur. “We make it easier to buy quality inventory. So rather than having four different places to get this quality inventory, you just get it from a single place.”
This play allows the local publishers to aggregate their audiences and create scale (letting buyers use the new tools that they favour) but doing so only across quality, local content.
Arthur explains that the main motivations behind the formation of the alliance was to provide brands with an alternative to the global networks that have until now dominated the programmatic market.
“Context is important,” Arthur says. “We all want to get great results, but just sticking ads in front of eyeballs is not enough. It opens up risks around where those ads are appearing, even if it is technically in front of the right person. The first aspect [to KPEX] is really brand safety.”
The internet isn’t renowned as the most savoury media landscape, and Arthur explains that brands (and the chief marketing officers that run them) are becoming more concerned about where their ads are served.
This, of course, isn’t applicable to all advertisers. As Arthur explains, some brands might be satisfied by simply having their ads seen regardless of what site the consumer is visiting.
“If you’re a brand that just wants to buy cheap and is totally focused on ROI, and doesn’t care about the other stuff, then maybe global is fine,” he says.
However, marketers interested in safeguarding their brands without having to maintain an endless whitelist of acceptable sites would be better suited to buying from KPEX.
Arthur says the KPEX exchange is made up of all the unfilled inventory of the online properties owned by the publishing partners. These are all reputable sites, which are well visited by Kiwis and are already used by many of the nation’s major advertisers.
Arthur says that KPEX already has the scale to target 70 percent of the Kiwi public through the founding partners, and he’s looking to add new local publishers to the mix currently available.
“The kind of publishers we want in KPEX aren’t necessarily the ones with enormous scale,” explains Arthur. “The more interesting ones are actually about having a very local aspect, a proper relationship with their audiences—either in a very particular niche or geography. It stops it from being generic. If we can keep this going the right way, we’ll see a lot of local talent represented. It’s about adding something uniquely Kiwi to the mix, not just a bunch of eyeballs.”