Jason Fairchild, OpenX’s Chief Revenue Officer (below, left), talks with LiftDNA Founder and CEO Vadim Telyatnikov about what makes LiftDNA’s technology so powerful and unique.
Jason Fairchild: What do you think are the biggest problems facing publishers today? How does LiftDNA solve some of them?
Vadim: Today’s publishers face an unwieldy number of demand channels and waste too much time managing them. They may work with hundreds of networks, as well as dozens of DSPs, SSPs, and ad exchanges. It’s hard for publishers to evaluate which partners add value and also manage them. And they typically have small ad ops teams armed with little more than spreadsheets.
Our role is to make it simple for publishers so they can concentrate on creating great content and growing their user base.
Jason: What does LiftDNA do?
Vadim: LiftDNA integrates directly into the publishers’ ad server to maximize their revenue. We begin with the ad server because it’s the starting point of every ad transaction. Once in the ad server, we do three things to add value:
First, we move the marketplace into the publishers’ ad server. Whenever an impression becomes available, the demand channels compete for it simultaneously, rather than sequentially. Our technology can then intelligently select the best buyer for a particular impression.
Second, we leverage the deep data insights that are available inside the publishers’ ad server and we use predictive algorithms to set pricing in real time. We create a standing book of orders with impression pricing based on the user, geo, session depth, and hundreds of other variables. And we compare that price to what the real-time market is willing to pay. This process makes it possible for real-time bidders and rules-based bidders to compete simultaneously for impressions. LiftDNA presents the true value of the publisher’s inventory to the marketplace, which easily justifies higher CPMs.
Third, LiftDNA helps publishers mitigate inventory loss. When inventory hops from one demand channel to the next, about 10% of the impressions are lost. We mitigate that in two ways. First, by directly running the marketplace for non-guaranteed inventory, we reduce the hops and increase the value. Second, we use what we call Intelligent Default Management™ which pays close attention to the types of users each network keeps and the types they send back. It tracks patterns. If a network sends back a specific type of user two or three times, LiftDNA won’t send those users to that network anymore. As a result, the publisher wastes less inventory – and increases overall revenue – by reducing the number of networks it needs to ping in order to satisfy a particular impression.
Continue reading about what makes LiftDNA so unique.
Jason: What makes LiftDNA unique?
Vadim: A lot of the industry is focused around tiers and priorities and we’ve seen how much that hinders growth. Publishers send their non-guaranteed inventory to the first buyer on their list and what isn’t sold is offered to the next buyer and so on. But with this waterfall approach publishers have no way of knowing what their partners are willing to pay for their inventory, and so it hinders value creation for the publisher and denies robust advertising opportunities for buyers.
We set out to eliminate that sequential waterfall process because we realized that it’s more important to select the right buyer for each impression the first time around. So we do this by enabling all classes of buyers to compete simultaneously through a combination of our ad server management, network pricing, and fill prediction. With LiftDNA, it’s not a matter of where the buyer fits within the waterfall; it’s a matter of the CPM the buyer offers combined with its historical fill and discrepancy rates. This is a really important to us because it is a totally different way to manage yield optimization, and it is a method that is shared by the best markets in the world.
The LiftDNA approach is to learn from yesterday, or the month before, how all of the publisher’s partners performed on its inventory, and to use that analysis to make predictions and decisions upfront. So instead of sending an impression to network A then to network B and then on to C, we’ll send it to network C first if that’s the best revenue opportunity.
Jason: Why did you start the company?
Vadim: The idea of the company started while I was director of ad operations at MyYearbook.com. We had about 3 billion impressions per month that went unsold. At the time there were no SSPs or third party yield optimization solutions, so out of necessity we had to build our own yield maximization system. In the middle of that process, some of the first SSPs were launched and I was very excited to test them. But after testing we discovered that we had a better system, and while the SSPs were a valuable addition to our demand stack, they couldn’t match our results across the whole value chain.
After leaving MyYearbook, LiftDNA co-founder Kingchih Fan and I set out to build our own yield management platform.
Jason: Who are your clients? What results are you getting for them?
Vadim: We have a variety of publishers as our customers including WordPress, Justin.tv, Roblox and Meez. Typically we see lift somewhere around 50-100%. One of our publishers is a comScore Top 5 entertainment site. We spent about a week analyzing their historical data, and it took us 30 days to double their non-guaranteed revenue and six months to deliver 3x lift.
Jason: How does LiftDNA fit with OpenX? Why the marriage?
Vadim: I think it’s a perfect fit because both companies are focused on the publisher.
We both use the ad server more intelligently and make the best marketplace for both advertisers and publishers to transact. We believe that yield optimization and yield management should live inside the publisher’s ad server since that’s where inventory is created.
Second, we like that OpenX is a global advertising platform that allows us to seamlessly connect to other platforms, as well as leverage OpenX Market, the ad exchange. This enables us to focus on an open solution that allows every demand partner to participate and add their unique value.
Working with OpenX allows us to offer the first complete revenue management solution. Plus, we can continue to work with a broad array of ad servers.
For more information about LiftDNA by OpenX™ click here.