Horizon Media and advertising platform Magnite entered into an agreement on Monday to streamline supply channels to consolidate acquisitions and prioritize connected TV.
The multi-year agreement expands on the existing relationship between the two companies, which goes back several years. New York-based Horizon Media, the largest independent media agency in the United States, said strengthening the supply side will improve client efficiency and make the market more transparent, citing Magnite’s strong inventory and audience-based buying features.
Especially as programmatic buying and selling of media inventory continues to evolve, the industry has called for more transparency, not just in inventory, for example, but where it’s sourced, said Alex Stone, head of advanced video and agency partnerships for Horizon Media.
“[We need] creating economies of scale to get to a more transparent place, with greater efficiencies for our accounts in the form of CPM savings and absorbing rate reductions,” Stone told Digiday.
In recent years, more media buyers have been working on SPO strategies with the goal of securing inventory at the best price, while allowing publishers to maximize their long-term revenue. On-demand platforms use algorithms to optimize the supply side. The idea is that this can also weed out bad actors and help filter only relevant inventory to the DSP.
Magnite, an independent sell-side advertising platform, will become the preferred supply platform for Horizon Media’s private market and programmatic guaranteed CTV deals. The SPO partnership also includes a custom direct integration to use data segments from Blu, Horizon’s connected marketing platform for multichannel acquisitions. The exact terms of their contract were not available.
“Programmatic is a really great solution for buying CTV inventory,” said Stone. “You can control things that were previously silenced [networks and streaming services]. You can have a comprehensive overview of all your purchases.”
With these data sets built into the DSP, they can go directly to the supply side. When inventory is targeted with this supply data, “we can target inventory more intelligently,” explained Sean Buckley, CRO at Magnite.
In addition to its SPO strategy, the organization said it has become more important for buyers and sellers to work closely together – especially given the way the media market has changed. In particular, Stone said “technology fees” going to the platforms have become a challenge as they prioritize CTV and clients find “a fee like this very hard to swallow.”
By working directly together, Horizon and Magnite also hope to build more transparency into the supply chain. Right now, CTV’s business is done privately — compared to screen business that happens on the open market — so the close partnership means “we open up a lot more visibility,” Buckley said.
Horizon Media has about $9.5 billion in media investment for clients, including The Hershey Company, which uses CTV in its marketing strategy. Horizon’s other clients include Corona, Geico and STX Entertainment.