Regional Media rolls out automated trading platform

APN Australian Regional Media’s (ARM) head of programmatic trading Jennifer Stokes says that the network’s new automated trading platform will have a positive effect on advertising creativity.

ARM, the regional media division of APN News & Media, recently announced the launch of its private marketplace, which offers advertising clients an automated platform to buy space on ARM’s 30 plus news websites.

Ms Stokes, who is in charge of the new platform, told The Newspaper Works that it will initially be used for desktop sites exclusively and then rolled out for ARM’s mobile and video products in time.

“Programmatic will have a positive effect because it frees the sales people up to move away from possibly labour intensive booking processes and work on more bespoke, innovative ideas with the client,” she said.

ARM partnered with Rubicon Project to develop the programmatic tool, which advertisers will access through Rubicon’s advertising automation cloud platform.

“Late last year we identified that programmatic was a rapidly growing channel that a lot of digital budget was flowing to and that it is a really important way to be able to access our inventory,” Ms Stokes said.

“We went out and saw the potential partners and we decided that Rubicon was the best for us…they’re an ongoing partner and I think there is a cultural fit as well, a good affinity between their outlook and ours.”

Ms Stokes was at Fairfax for six years, working primarily for The Australian Financial Review, and has been working in the digital space for agencies and publishers for around 10 years. She was hired by APN’s ARM in July last year, and soon after the network began work on implementing a programmatic trading platform.

“Platforms like mobile are opening our papers up to whole new audiences, so digital is a really important part of our business strategy moving forward,” she said. “Making our inventory, which is a highly premium inventory and a very exclusive audience, available across a programmatic platform is critical, especially as agencies are starting to become more automated and find more efficiencies in the way they buy inventory and plan their campaigns.”

She did not indicate whether ARM has plans to look at ways of rolling out the programmatic platform in other channels like print, but noted that it was a clear point of discussion in the industry at present.

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