In today's Supply-Side Spotlight, we're speaking with Tom Webster, EVP, Global Publisher Platforms at Minute Media, a leading media company with a portfolio of premium sports audiences across six distinct publisher brands and 2000+ domains. They also have a unique and fascinating story as a publisher-turned-SSP.
#1: Hi Tom, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Let’s begin with a quick summary of Minute Media's role in the programmatic industry.
Minute Media owns and operates six publishing brands, including, The Players’ Tribune, Fansided, Mental Floss, 90min, DBLTAP, and The Big Lead, all powered by the company’s proprietary technology platform, Voltax, along with a network of over 2,000 partner domains, reaching over 300 million unique users every month.
We have developed deep relationships with athletes, influencers, brands, agencies and DSPs, driven by an international sales force, a global content presence & targeted audiences with an affinity for sports and entertainment.
The Minute Media SSP is offered as a standalone product, available for publishers via a standard pre-bid integration or oRTB. The technology allows our advertising partners to extend brand budgets at scale across the robust publisher network.
#2: As publisher-turned-SSP, Minute Media has a unique story in the advertising space, could you tell us more about how this evolution came about?
Minute Media started as a publisher that needed a better video platform to serve our content teams and the demand from advertising partners. After testing the market, nothing seemed to fit our specific needs, so the leadership team took a big step and decided to build our own end-to-end online video platform, which ultimately developed into Voltax Video.
After seeing its success internally, the company started to syndicate the platform to other publishers and help them create a more efficient and effective video experience for themselves and their viewers. From this, we were able to leverage our deep-rooted relationships with advertisers and athletes to develop improved direct demand across our network. Because of this unique direct demand, we saw an opportunity to provide extended access and reach to these dynamic audiences.
As a publisher first, we know how to meet our partner’s needs and the best ways to manage yield and inventory to achieve high RPMs.
#3: Through Minute Media, advertisers can access direct supply across display, video, app, and CTV. How does your proprietary video platform, Voltax, factor into your supply footprint?
While the Minute Media SSP is offered as a standalone product, it’s highly encouraged to incorporate the Voltax Video Player equipped with the SSP for better performance. Ideally, once partners have seen how well our SSP performs in their environment, they’ll feel confident enough to integrate the player and some deeper monetization layers into their tech stack.
Partners who wish to tap into some of Voltax Video’s more advanced features can access a library of over 1MM premium videos and a variety of interactive engagement experiences that collectively drive over 1B monthly plays and ad impressions.
#4: Minute Media is known for its premium sports audiences across a portfolio of publishers. How do you help advertisers deliver brand-safe messaging at scale, especially with video-based creative formats?
Minute Media has always been a tech-first company with our own proprietary technology underpinning all of our O&O brands. As a publisher ourselves, we customized this technology to fully encompass the specific needs of publishers, while focusing on eliminating the main struggles these companies face – high costs and lack of scalability.
Over the last few years, digital publishing companies have struggled to grow audiences which in turn led to less revenue, and with the usually high cost of publishing technology many businesses have shut down. The success of our video platform among our O&O brands (both in scale and revenue) led us to release Voltax Video to the industry, welcoming new partners onto the platform on an innovative rev-share model, effectively eliminating the issue of high costs.
While most of our content is created in-house, such as The Magic of the European Run and Official Player Protection, Minute Media works with Human (formerly White Ops) to verify 100% of SSP traffic, and Protected Media to scan and perform Prebid blocking for all of the company’s video player activity.
#5: It’s impossible to ignore the imminent deprecation of third-party cookies. What impact do you anticipate when the cookieless world comes about, and how can brands and advertisers best prepare for this new normal?
The deprecation of third-party cookies is one of the primary challenges in the industry that brands and advertisers should prepare for.
The cookieless world will make it dramatically harder to effectively run targeted campaigns at scale, requiring new solutions to retarget users and accurately measure attribution. Many publishers and intermediaries will see a drop in revenues due to the lack of ability to identify users, which will be evident in terms of publisher page yields and advertiser eCPMs.
Publishers must embrace personal relationships with their audience via direct communication methods like e-commerce and newsletters. Once they begin to build these relationships, they can then start to segment their users. Here at Minute Media, we believe that first-party data will be the primary alternative solution. We have been working on an innovative first-party data solution with plans to release it in 2023.
If you'd like to offer your demand customers seamless access to premium inventory reaching up to 300 million users per month across thousands of domains, connect to Minute Media today via the BidSwitch user interface. Not sure how to get started? Reach out to your platform representative or contact the team now.