Short Takes: Metamarkets

The publishing world is beset with an avalanche of data and an ever-widening array of so-called ad tech solutions. Swimming through that murky sea of options is made even more difficult as the rise of RTB and private exchanges makes it difficult for publishers to objectively analyze, price and predict inventory value. There’s downward pressure from the market, there’s intra-industry pressure to maintain a reasonable floor price, and then there’s all of the consumer data from social, e-commerce and offline that can make the valuation of a publisher’s audience fluctuate wildly.

David Soloff, CEO and co-founder of Metamarkets, a publisher-focused big-data analytics firm, believes that the great equalizer for publishers in the ad tech ecosystem is big data. “Publishers are beset by huge streams of data, from check-ins, ad interactions, e-commerce transactions and more,” said Soloff. “The question for every publisher is the same: How can we best use this information?” Using that information means translating that information into insights that are actionable, which then allow publishers to use those insights to value their inventory.
When the ad tech industry was younger, says Soloff, using big data was prohibitive because of pricing and the lack of companies able to manage the multiplicity of data sources.
Because the cost of analyzing big data has collapsed as the ad tech industry has grown up and spawned more big-data analytics companies, “capturing big data is now economical,” as Soloff explains. Metamarkets, which has six clients including the Financial Times, has built a predictive analytics infrastructure that the company says captures billions of daily transactions on behalf of publishers. The company’s platform, Soloff says, is able to pull data from multiple sources and provide a “human time — a second or less” integration of insights into publishers’ online and offline decision processes. At present, the company processes 2 billion daily events within its infrastructure for client publishers and social media companies, according to Soloff.
Metamarkets’ goal is to make big data a more manageable part of publishers’ toolkit, enabling them to cut through what Soloff calls the “ridiculous supply chain” of vendors and middlemen separating publishers from accurate valuations of their data. “Publishers are living or dying according to how well they are able to monetize their data,” said Soloff.
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