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Advertisers or agencies and publishers are currently engaged in an arms race concerning discrepancies. If an agency or advertiser is particularly large, it can pressure a publisher to ignore discrepancies in counts with third-party ad-servers and just pay based on the ad-server counts. If the publisher is larger, it can pressure advertisers or agencies to accept its own counts and pay on those. As a result, publishers and agencies/advertisers have been racing to add staff so that they can "win" the discrepancy war. We at Atlas, along with the IAB, feel that this system is inefficient, but fortunately, open to improvement with a few small technology changes. We aim to help resolve discrepancies faster and in a fairer way.
How does it work?
Atlas's implementation of the Impression Exchange allows publisher partners to monitor count discrepancies on a daily basis with a unique ID that maps to their own ad-servers. Publishers insert a line-item ID into the third-party ad server tag in real time and for each impression. Atlas then aggregates impression data at the level of the publisher line-item ID. Then we make the information available via daily automated reporting and, for publisher partners with a dev token, an API.
Why will it work?
By giving publishers the ability to monitor third-party ad-serve counts and compare those counts easily with the counts in their own system, Atlas allows them to take immediate corrective action when a discrepancy arises. Many large publishers have even suggested that, with a system like the Impression Exchange in place, they would be able to bill agencies and advertisers on the third-party ad-server counts, instead of their own counts.
How can I learn more?
Atlas's IAB Impression Exchange functionality is currently in beta. Please contact your Atlas Sales Representative for more information.
It sounds like a great move for smaller agencies playing in this space and will likely clean up some of the lower quality networks. The question clients and agencies need to ask is can they still afford to accept the figures provided by these advertising exchanges?
It would be interesting to have a followup case study on how much improvement or what percentage of variance clients have experienced using Atlas "Impression Exchange" and potentially how much money they saved by resolving the discrepancies on a daily basis using an automated API.
this is a great step forward in reducing the amount of discrepancies that occur. What about clicks discrepancy though? Are there any plans for IAB to also introduce a similar functionality?