Amit Kumar Yadav is the country manager – South Asia at PubMatic. He has been with PubMatic since 2016, and has worked closely with agency holding groups, DSPs, and publishers in the Indian market.
Agency Reporter – You joined PubMatic at a time when the Government was launching initiatives like Digital India & BharatNet. Do you think today PubMatic is where you envisaged it to be 5 years ago? To what extent have these schemes acted as a catalyst to PubMatic’s growth in India?
These government schemes have certainly played a role in the growth of digital platforms over the last few years. However, I would attribute PubMatic’s growth in India not just these macro initiatives, but also to our focus on developing products and solutions which cater to the requirements of our partners in this mobile-first country.
In the last five years, PubMatic has become a truly omnichannel platform – we deliver monetisation for publishers and ROI for advertisers across all platforms and channels; desktop, mobile web, app, OTT and CTV. We help our clients across the ecosystem realise the full potential of their digital advertising strategies agnostic of screen.
We recently launched our OpenWrap OTT wrapper solution which solves some of the fundamental challenges around header bidding in in-app video. Previously multiple technology solutions and complex workflows have been required, making seamless cross-channel campaigns impossible.
PubMatic is simplifying digital advertising in India by delivering a true cross-channel experience. We are also the supply-side platform of choice for some of the largest buyers in the country that helps us deliver unique demand to our publishers and partners.
AR – Can you list top 3 reasons why PubMatic is a better solution provider in the Indian market than any of your competitors.
We are omnichannel, we have supply path optimisation partnerships with major agency holding groups, and we take proactive steps to ensure transparency and inventory quality across our platform.
Omnichannel – PubMatic is the only true omnichannel solution in the market in India:
- PubMatic’s enterprise extension on Prebid- OpenWrap can support desktop, mobile-web, mobile-app, OTT/CTV and instream and outstream video in a single wrapper solution – an industry first. This addresses transparency, monetisation and inefficiency issues, making it easier to buy and sell quality inventory across channels. We now offer the first server-to-server Prebid-based solution for CTV.
SPO – PubMatic has strategic partnerships with some of the biggest buyers in the country.
- Buyers are favouring single solutions to deliver audience and control, reflecting the move towards supply path optimisation. PubMatic enables agencies and advertisers to reach their audiences everywhere, to consolidate omnichannel media buying on one transparent platform, and to access premium brand safe inventory.
Transparency and inventory quality – PubMatic has long been at the forefront when it comes to delivering the quality and transparency the market is demanding.
- We have a dedicated in-house inventory quality team who rigorously vet all new supply partners.
- We work closely with the IAB Tech Lab, have implemented ads.txt, app-ads.txt, sellers.JSON and OPENRTB Supply Chain Object and have been active in advocating for transparency, quality and brand-safety best practices in the industry.
AR – How PubMatic, as a thought leader, has been fighting with advertiser problems like ad-blocking, viewability, ad-fraud etc.
Our mission is to fuel the endless potential of internet content creators. We exist to help publishers fund content creation via digital advertising, and we feel that the best way to do this is by delivering superior ROI to advertisers so that investment in programmatic continues to grow. We help advertisers reach and engage their target audiences in brand-safe, premium environments across ad formats and devices.
- We offer a Fraud Free Guarantee for buyers and work with key vendors to fight fraud and transparency including Moat, White Ops, Majestic, JICWEBS and Pixalate to deliver on brand safety, inventory quality and viewability measurement solutions for buyers.
- We have achieved certification through IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK Integration Validation Compliance (IVC) for display ad formats. This helps drive improved in-app viewability and verification to ensure quality and trust in this growing channel. We have also earned industry accreditations such as the IAB’s Gold Standard and The Trade Desk Gold Standard.
AR – With more and more users willing to pay for content, we see a parallel ad-free ecosystem building up with publishers and users at the centre. Does this worry you?
No, there is room for both – ad funded and subscription models complement one another. Particularly as content syndication continues to decline and users are forced to have multiple accounts to access all the content they would like to view. Maintaining multiple paid subscription accounts will become too costly for most consumers. Instead users will likely select one primary subscription account and complement this with ad funded content.
AR – Most APAC regions are smartphone first regions & mobile advertising is expected to grow by leaps and bounds but Google & Facebook still control more than 80% of digital media investments. Do you think this growth is only symbolic for the programmatic ecosystem?
There is huge opportunity in the open web. With the impending demise of third-party cookies, the industry is busy developing identity solutions that will put open web and app programmatic inventory on par with the levels of addressability seen in the walled gardens.
Players from across the industry are collaborating in a way not seen before – actively engaging with organizations such as IAB (Project Rearc) and Prebid.org. New identity solutions are already seeing significant traction.
The focus on privacy-compliant identity solutions is putting publishers back in the driving seat. They are the main point of contact with audiences and work hard to build relationships and trust. A privacy-first approach to customer data is crucial to ensure this trust is maintained.
We’re seeing increasing appetite from advertisers and their agencies to engage with premium partners and the benefits that brings in terms of brand association. As bidding becomes more crowded within walled gardens, by contrast, the open web is limitless.
AR – What is your view on the never ending debate between whether brands should go for in-house programmatic teams or should they go with agencies managing it for them.
It really depends on the advertiser, their category and what their marketing goals are. For brands that are digital first and collect huge amounts of first-party consumer data it might make sense to try to utilise that data themselves via in house programmatic teams. Conversely for a brand primarily involved with manufacturing, which has little digital contact with the end user, it makes less sense.
AR – Lastly, why is the adoption of programmatic so slow, particularly in India and why is programmatic still more of a jargon than a solution to advertisers?
All markets mature at different rates – and adoption of new technologies is driven by a lot of factors, many of them outside of our industry, such as macroeconomic pressures.
However, brands in India are becoming increasingly digitally savvy – understanding the importance of using data and automating buying. The latest DAN Digital Report found that programmatic contributed approximately 41% to overall digital spend in 2019, and is expected to grow to 67% by 2021. Programmatic is definitely picking up pace in India.