KPEX chief executive Richard Thompson has announced that AppNexus will become the primary platform partner for the local ad exchange, founded by NZME, Fairfax, TVNZ and MediaWorks.
KPEX has, since its inception in 2015, been working with the Rubicon Project, which previously powered the Pangea Alliance (a premium ad exchange consisting of news publications such as The Guardian, Reuters and CCN).
Thompson says AppNexus will now become the primary provider to KPEX and that the Rubicon Project will take on “a smaller role”.
AppNexus will exclusively power the KPEX Private Marketplace from February 2018.
KPEX has expanded beyond the four founding partners, adding inventory from Allied Press, Sun Media, Tangible Media, Homes.co.nz, Choice TV, and Allure Media.
Thompson says the decision to work with AppNexus comes after a pitch, involving a number of technology providers in the market.
He says that it’s important to review partnerships in an industry subject to such a constant technological change.
“We’ll be reviewing our partnerships every two years,” he says.
He says the appointment of AppNexus was made simply because the business made the most compelling proposition during the pitch process.
“KPEX and AppNexus are aligned in our mission to bring transparency to programmatic advertising, so that New Zealand’s premium publishers, broadcasters and content producers can thrive in the digital space,” Thompson says.
The KPEX partnership with AppNexus follows similar publisher co-operative programmatic exchange partnerships in Australia, with APEX (Australian Premium Exchange), and in France, with Audience Square.
Thompson adds that the decision to shift its primary partnership to the new provider did not have anything to do with the legal proceedings involving the Rubicon Project and The Guardian in the UK.
Digiday reported that The Guardian initiated legal action in March, alleging the ad tech company had “syphoned undisclosed fees from programmatic advertising buys across its site.”
The Rubicon Project responded with a counter-claim, denying any wrongdoing and alleging that The Guardian had breached its contract by letting other intermediaries sell some of its inventory.
The court case is ongoing.