Fairfax, Mi9 launch mobile programmatic exchange

Fairfax Media is expanding its digital offerings to clients with the launch this morning of the Australian Premium Exchange (APEX), a premium, brand-safe, mobile programmatic exchange.

A joint venture between Fairfax and Mi9, APEX offers premium mobile inventory that comprises mobile properties owned and operated by Fairfax and Mi9, in addition to third party publishers such as Daily Mail Australia. Other publishers will be invited to join in the future.

The exchange is in addition to an in-house content marketing studio MADE that was launched in February to help advertisers create better editorial content to engage consumers.

APEX offers media buyers the efficiency of real time bidding across a huge volume of quality inventory from more than 120 well known, locally created mobile sites and apps. Offering a brand safe environment, advertising will run only alongside top-tier premium content, Fairfax says.

The mobile advertising inventory delivered by APEX is powered by AppNexus, a leading independent global advertising technology company, serving publishers and advertisers across five continents.

APEX Advertising CEO Pippa Leary said APEX is Australia’s only publisher coalition where advertisers can reach audiences programmatically in real time, in brand safe mobile environments. “It gives advertisers the scale and efficiencies of an open exchange with the safety of a private exchange,” she said.

“The Australian programmatic market is forecast to grow to $1.4 billion by 2018. The opportunity for advertisers to target mobile audiences through premium local content, produced by local publishers, we anticipate will drive further growth.”

Alex Parsons, Mi9 managing director and chairman of APEX said the joint venture was the first publisher-led, large-scale mobile programmatic opportunity in Australia. “APEX provides Australian agencies and marketers with a truly scalable alternative and guarantees a brand-safe, premium environment with inventory they know and trust. We are excited about the launch of this innovative, market leading venture,” he said.

Fairfax Media commercial and marketing services director Tom Armstrong said: “This model has proven effective in Europe and we are very excited to be leading this innovation in Australia. With smartphone audiences continuing to grow, APEX allows us to offer advertisers a new means of efficiently accessing premium publisher audiences at scale.”

AppNexus president Michael Rubenstein said publishers needed strong, independent coalitions and technology platforms that empowered them to monetise their content.

“This is particularly true of mobile inventory, which is projected to grow as a share of the already-growing programmatic market. AppNexus is excited to partner with APEX in helping Australian publishers thrive and win in the hyper-competitive online advertising landscape.”

All participating publishers in APEX will maintain their dedicated, direct sales operations with a portion of their inventory flowing into the exchange for bidding by agencies.

Inventory from these publishers will be brand safe and on mobile sites and apps with high quality, professionally created content.

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