Hearst Magazines is ready to exchange it up

Another big U.S. magazine company is about to launch its own ad exchange to make its online inventory more valuable. Six months after Conde Nast launched a private ad marketplace to increase the sell-through of its online ad space without opening it up to public ad exchanges, Hearst Magazines‘ digital unit—Hearst Digital Media—is starting to […]

Another big U.S. magazine company is about to launch its own ad exchange to make its online inventory more valuable.

Six months after Conde Nast launched a private ad marketplace to increase the sell-through of its online ad space without opening it up to public ad exchanges, Hearst Magazines‘ digital unit—Hearst Digital Media—is starting to work with an ad-tech vendor on its own exchange.

Unlike Conde’s exchange, though, Hearst Digital Media’s platform is not aimed at increasing sell through on its sites; the company will continue to partner with select display and video ad networks to unload its unsold ad inventory.

Rather, the new “audience exchange” (as Hearst is calling it) will let advertisers who are making upfront buys with Hearst’s direct sales team target specific groups of consumers across Hearst Digital Media’s 25-plus online brands, which include web and mobile sites for Seventeen, Elle, Good.

For example, Hearst will start selling the ability to target ads to readers it has grouped into various food-related audience segments—”dieter” may be one audience segment and “entertainer” may be another.

Advertisers’ trading desks or demand-side platforms will plug into Hearst’s exchange—powered by Pubmatic—to execute these buys. In theory, more targeted ads should generate better returns for these advertisers who are already doing business with Hearst. And happy advertisers usually mean increased budgets the next time around.

What’s unique about this exchange is that it will also be connected directly to a Hearst-owned data-management platform that brands use to organize and create their own customer profiles and audience segments based on their own first-party data. This integration means advertisers can easily port over their own segments that they’ve created and then target ads to those custom groups across the Hearst sites.

The data platform came to Hearst in December, when Hearst-owned digital agency iCrossing acquired a company called Red Aril. Separately, Hearst Digital Media eventually plans to use the data-management technology to help it group its own readers into different categories and personalize the content experience for each set of readers, according to Kristine Welker, the unit’s chief revenue officer.

Hearst’s hope is that the new audience exchange also helps it tap into budgets that its existing direct-sales advertisers have set aside for automated ad buying.

“We definitely recognize the growing need for efficiency,” Welker said.

Hearst Digital Media properties registered 20.3 million unique visitors in May, up 39% from 14.6 million in the same month last year. When broken up into audience segments, the potential reach for a given ad buy is much smaller. With that said, Hearst plans to eventually allow advertisers to extend their audience buys to the digital properties of Hearst newspapers in addition to its magazine sites, according to Welker.

To read the original article in Advertising Age, click here.

Advertising Articles

Which Olympic ads won with women?

Harbinger study examines what it takes for ads to be memorable

Media.net deal ups the ante in ad tech acquisitions

Telecom firm to take on provider of contextual ads to Yahoo and Bing

Public Mobile encourages you to swap junk for SIM cards

Self-serve mobile brand shows customers how it's different from the big guys

Olympic Contenders: Do you buy Air Canada’s pitch?

Alan Middleton sees a sales push amid customer service concerns

Olympic Contenders: ‘First’ isn’t always best

A respectable showing, but Jamie King doesn't see Visa earning a podium finish

On the Move: Additions at McCann, Momentum and BoomBox

A weekly update of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Olympic Contenders: RBC’s second-chance ‘Someday’

Jamie King finds a strong strategic tie between the bank's platform and the Games

Bensimon Byrne, KBS win LCBO accounts

Brand and promotion mandates earned through ARB reviews

Cintas’ best bathroom search returns

The facility services company goes looking for Canada's cleanest can