- Digital publishers are worried that programmatic, or real-time, ad buying will eliminate their ability to charge for premium direct-sold business; their fears are justified as digital middlemen are able to offer the same audience and same environment for a fraction of the price.
- AOL has developed what they call the "barbell" sales strategy that offers advertisers the best of both—programmatic advertising on one end and deep marketing services, or premium buys, on the other. .
- AOL isn't alone in seeing the value of running premium and programmatic at the same time; Yahoo has spoken of a plan similar to AOL, and publishers Scripps, Meredith, Pandora and The New York Times have implemented some version of a barbell-like strategy.
From the article:
"Matt Prohaska, who joined The New York Times four months ago as director of programmatic advertising, said advertisers are asking for buys of this nature, and the Times is actively trying to sell them. 'We're having conversations with at least one client a week where lightbulbs are going on at the client direct and they're saying, 'Wow, I can now have my brand budget and my direct response budget work well together.' Mr. Prohaska, speaking with Ad Age last Friday. He said he'd had three such calls that day."