5 Ad Exchanges for Local Publishers

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fingersTraditional ad networks are useful tools for online publishers looking to fill unsold inventory, but they aren’t always the ideal solution for publishers seeking the highest possible CPMs. In an effort to gain control of their ads and ensure that their inventory is being sold at the highest possible rates, more hyperlocal publishers are banding together and joining private ad exchanges.

Although regional ad networks are still in the early stages, there already are a number of private exchanges and publisher-controlled networks in which local publishers can join forces and create pools of uncommitted inventory to sell at rates exceeding what remnant networks and public exchanges are paying. Publishers who join these private exchanges can see a 40% to 400% increase in the value of their inventory, according to some industry experts.

Here are five private exchanges that local publishers can use to gain control of their inventories.

1. OpenX: Control the terms of national deals.
Local publishers who use OpenX’s private ad exchange can choose the terms of their national ad deals, managing the available inventory, the list of potential advertisers, and any additional terms. Available inventory is sold through real-time auctions, with buyers competing for the chance to put their products in front of a publisher’s targeted local audience. OpenX can help publishers select the optimal controls and bring onboard national advertisers. It supports multiple pricing models (including CPM, CPC, CPA, CPD, and fixed cost).

2. Adhance Media: Join forces with competing publications to negotiate better rates.
Adhance Media is a private exchange created by GateHouse Media. Local publishers with excess inventory can sign up with the exchange to sell ads without losing control over their rates, auction types, or deal terms. The exchange is comprised of more than 500 hyperlocal publications and community sites. While publishers benefit by commanding premium rates, national brands gain from being able to run their ads on “brand safe” websites with locally targeted audiences. Adhance Media is powered by Index Platform, an RTB management platform.

3. quadrantONE: Monetize ad inventory with real-time bidding.
Created through a joint partnership between Gannett, Hearst, Tribune, and The New York Times, quadrantONE is a private exchange for premium local publishers. It currently works with more than 300 local news websites across the country. The company’s Q-Exchange is a private exchange where brands can purchase local inventory on approved sites. Publishers retain complete control over access to their inventories. They can also create universal block lists as a way to protect local sales efforts and prevent conflicts between competing advertisers.

4. Medialets: Generate revenue from a mobile website.
Publishers and developers pursuing a way to generate revenue from their mobile inventory can use the Medialets private ad exchange. Medialets is designed to support “premium” mobile advertising, including both apps and mobile websites. The company works with more than 200 publishers (including Style.com, Yahoo!, and NPR). The exchange is “nonexclusive,” which means publishers can continue working with Google’s Ad Exchange and other marketplaces while generating revenue through Medialets.

5. Local Yokel Media: Use scale to negotiate higher rates with national marketers.
While not a traditional ad exchange, Local Yokel is using scale to help its hyperlocal publishing partners set up better rates with national advertisers. The company has partnered with “thousands” of local publishers and uses a proprietary platform to organize available inventory by zip code, making it easy for national marketers to target consumers in specific local or regional markets. Unlike many private ad exchanges, Local Yokel is able to deliver local ads in addition to national buys.

Know of other private exchanges or networks that publishers should try? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.