- Even though ad tech, such as programmatic ad buying, is an industry standard some of the new generation of publishers take pride in not working with ad tech firms.
- In fact, new school publishers such as Vox Media, Mic and Refinery29 actively resist programmatic ad sales.
- Mic, for example, sells ads directly to marketers.
Ad tech companies and programmatic ad sales are standard partners and process for publishers, with many publishers partnering with multiple ad tech firms. Some of the new school digital native publishers, including Vox Media, Mic and Refinery29, are bucking this trend and are actively resisting programmatic ad sales while touting their content’s ability to traverse the social and mobile landscape.
Mic CEO Chris Altchek told The Wall Street Journal, "We are not running any programmatic whatsoever. If you look at how the mobile ad industry evolved, for example, you have these incredibly low [ad prices]. It’s not super effective, and not a lot of publishers and advertisers are happy with it."
Part of this stance is to preserve a better user experience as opposed to squeezing a few more cents out of content, and at the same time circumventing the issue of programmatic ads not being served due to users’ ad-blocking software. Overall, the stance by a small group of publishers won’t change the ad tech landscape, but the industry will certainly keep watch and see how those digital native publishers fare in their approach.