KPEX, the local ad exchange founded last year, has confirmed the addition of three new online publishers to the mix with more to come shortly.
KPEX chief executive Richard Thompson says Choice TV, NBR and Tangible Media have all joined the fray by adding their unsold ad inventory into the exchange.
Thompson described this move as an exciting step in the progression of the exchange.
“It’s fantastic to see New Zealand’s media coming together like this,” Thompson says.
“From the beginning we wanted to add premium publishers and each of these fit into that category.”
Since its launch last year, KPEX has already facilitated over one million individual transactions from over 78,000 different advertisers.
“We’ve exceeded our targets every month since launch,” Thompson says.
He says these numbers are only set to become bigger with more publishers coming into the fray.
“KPEX is already working its socks off for advertisers, and these new publishers will only improve the targeting capabilities on offer.”
Thompson elaborates further by pointing to Tangible publication Good, which he says will give advertisers access to the coveted household shoppers with children category.
“It’s not only about reaching millions,” says Thompson. “You also have to reach the right people. And as the audience data of these niche publications is added, it will give advertisers greater ability to target very specific segments with their advertising, which will help to ensure relevant messaging.”
Tangible Media chief executive John Baker says his motivation for joining KPEX was largely because programmatic has become an essential part of the advertising landscape.
“There is no avoiding the reality that programmatic is driving a significant if not a majority of digital display ad campaigns so not being in this space essentially rules us out of a portion of the market,” Baker says.
“A traditional agency sales approach just doesn’t work anymore for some campaigns. Once we made the decision to enter this space, KPEX was the obvious exchange for us.”
Baker adds that the potential commercial benefits of KPEX extend well beyond Tangible Media to the media community across New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Media infrastructure is being severely undermined by the export of digital ad dollars offshore,” he says.
“This is not sustainable if we want a healthy local market and local content producers. I believe many companies, particularly New Zealand-owned ones, want to see the dollars they are spending on New Zealand campaigns stay in New Zealand.”
These sentiments are shared by NBR’s agency account manager Simon Massey, who says he had been watching KPEX closely since its launch.
Like Baker, Massey also sees broader significance in the arrival of KPEX.
“New Zealand advertisers must understand that creating quality content New Zealanders want to read costs money, lots of money,” he says.
“If they don’t support local publishers with the bulk of their online ad spend… Well, in the not too distant future there might not be many New Zealand publishers.”
Despite the pressing need to keep money in New Zealand, Massey admits that the team at NBR was at first quite sceptical about what KPEX could offer its publication.
“Being a high value niche audience we were initially sceptical about what value programmatic buying could offer NBR,” he says.
“To be honest we believed this might be a race to the bottom in terms of advertising yields – we sell our online inventory at a significant market premium. But a meeting with Richard at KPEX changed our initial reluctance. So far yields have performed much better than many people expected and this was confirmed to me when I met with the team from Rubicon in Sydney last week.”
Massey’s scepticism touches on a problem that has plagued programmatic advertising since it hit the market, with many publishers disregarding it at first because of the perception that it only serves low-quality advertising.
However, Thompson reiterates numerous times during the interview that KPEX offers only premium from trusted websites. And he says this is clearly reflected in the video completion rates, which are 59 percent higher than standard inventory.
With arrival of Choice TV, Thompson will now also have more long-form video inventory at his disposal.
As Scott Butler, Choice TV’s head of national sales and integration, explains: “Choice TV has recently re-launched its on-demand platform and has achieved very pleasing growth in the number of registered users. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for our clients to access our on-demand platform and most of the agencies we have spoken to have, or are contemplating, an interface with KPEX.”
This convergence of publishers and advertisers in the platform bodes well for the future of the platform, and Thompson adds he is already in talks with several other publishers.
“We’ll have a few more announcements coming soon,” he says.
- This KPEX news is brought to you as part of a content partnership between KPEX and StopPress.