AppNexus, Rubicon Project and Index Exchange are distancing themselves from the opaque way programmatic budgets are traded to bolster their stances as vendors that can help buyers demystify those auctions. It’s a far cry from the pitches from some supply-side platforms 12 months ago, which appeared to have been outpaced by demand-side platforms when it came to tackling the problems of programmatic, as evidenced by the furor around bid caching. It left some observers questioning the value SSPs bring to an already crowded, commoditized marketplace, which is something the larger vendors will try to answer in 2019.

AppNexus said in late 2018 it will let ad buyers see how much of their money is spent on tech fees when they buy publisher inventory using its tech. It isn’t the clearest view into ad tech fees, however. In the U.S., buyers will see fees for 82 percent of transactions whereas globally they will only be able to see 58 percent of fees disclosed.

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