VICE was launched in 1994, and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with around 40 offices around the world, keeping advertising at the core of its business model.
VICE understood that programmatic is the media transaction method of the future because it is more transparent, scaleable, and easier-to-use than other methods in the media transaction marketplace.
So they aimed to give both direct and programmatic channels an equal footing in their commercial teams.
We sought to understand VICE’s monetization strategy with Alex Magee, Biz Dev Programmatic Manager at Vice; how they faced last year’s key trends (header bidding, programmatic, direct) their challenges in the upcoming year as a key publisher, and how the Adomik Platform is helping them to reach their monetization targets.
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As a premium publisher, what does your business model look like today (advertising, subscription…)?
Advertising is the core of our business model. This branches to programmatic marketplaces, experiential activations, native advertising, data monetization, and branded content, where we hold a full service branded content studio with VICE + for our brand partners.
How important is programmatic to your revenue strategy this year? Are you currently switching from direct to programmatic and if so, how are you making this move?
Programmatic is essential to our revenue model moving into the future as more brands and agencies are using programmatic as a way to transact and utilize both our valuable 1st party audience and contextual data along with the data and targeting that advertisers require for media activation.
Rather than switching from direct to programmatic, we’re aiming to give both offerings equal footing with our commercial teams and the convergence of the two solutions wise is certainly helping us achieve this.
You’ve been working on your advertising organization (especially shifting resources from premium to programmatic), for about a year now, what is your target organization and why?
Programmatic is premium to VICE. Programmatic is the media transaction method of the future that creates more transparency, scalability, and ease to the media transaction marketplace.
VICE is an international publisher with many different regions/sales teams. How do you coordinate with these groups to keep your monetization strategy consistent, particularly in regards to yield and rate card?
With around 40 offices around the world we have grown exponentially since inception, but we have established global calls, in depth reference materials, and we foster an environment to the global organization that is inclusive and open to curiosity and further learning for any VICE employee.
One of the principal benefits of programmatic advertising to VICE is that it’s open as an always on revenue source for any office to support their growth.
What are the main assets VICE is leveraging on the market (content, audience, formats etc.)? Do you feel that being a premium publisher – with a pretty unique touch – translates into actual value for buyers?
VICE has always held content as king. We feel our audience is built on the trust for unique and groundbreaking storytelling. VICE has had its hand on the pulse of youth culture and affairs, and moving into the future we are seeking to grow that knowledge through data and technology prowess to become first in class for youth media activation.
What are your challenges for the next 12 months (GDPR, holistic strategy and data management, revenue diversification, native…)?
One of the large challenges in the next 12 months is to ensure we are offering innovative marketplace media solutions. We are very excited to offer more custom media products and data solutions than ever that can be enabled programmatically moving into the rest of this year, but we want to ensure the marketplace can scale and maintain the premium nature of these products.
Further, gaining trust in our programmatic offering both internally from stakeholders and externally from users is a vital consideration. Ensuring that we have the right security measures in place and reliably pass user consent in GDPR affected countries hold firm places on our roadmap.
We know you have been working with header bidding and Exchange Bidding, what strategy are you adopting and is this translating into incremental revenue? How did you measure it?
We have implemented both a wrapper solution and have EBDA enabled. We have measured our success of incremental revenue of monetized requests and the CPMs monetized versus the open auction, finding that increased competition and bid density between header bidders at consistent floor pricing cross-partner is most rewarding approach to follow. We see onboarding locally relevant demand partners within our global infrastructure as the next step to increasing competition further.
In this context, why and how are you using Adomik in your day-to-day? On which specific use cases is the Adomik product helpful ?
We are using Adomik to optimize which partners are performing better than other from a perspective of both CPMs and overall revenue per partner in the header and EBDA. Further, the insight it brings cross-partner provides us with a valuable method to spot check performance without having to merge and normalise SSP level reporting.
How are you using the Adomik team’s expertise outside of the tool itself?
In addition to using Adomik as a data visualization tool, we are using the Adomik team’s expertise to understand market insights, and data monetization. Further, insight the Adomik team offers into how the market may evolve can help us plan better for the future.