The Director of Monetization of Print and Digital 20 Minutes reports on the deployment of header bidding and business alliances tied.
JDN. You have deployed a header wrapper bidding on all of your inventory with Hubvisor. What first assessment do you draw?
Bruno Latapie. We started the first tests between the end of February and the beginning of March. The wrapper has been deployed in a good part of the inventory of our Web audiences, on mobile and desktop, in the space of three to four weeks. He is now fully deployed. This allowed us to take back the marketing of our programmatic inventory and accelerate its monetization.
What has been the impact on the monetization of the site?
We saw a 40% increase in the absolute value of programmatic revenues in the first few weeks after the implementation. The effect is virtuous in many ways. First for CPMs that are mechanically pulled up because we are competing with many more sources of demand. But also for the number of pages viewed. Because the average loading time of the page drops significantly with the end of the cascade sales mechanism where it is expected that a first bidder rejects the impression to call another. The browsing experience is therefore more fluid and the user is all the more inclined to consume more content.
Which bidding sources did you connect to?
We have integrated key players such as Appnexus or Rubicon Project. But the header bidding is also an opportunity to test new partners like Improve Digital. We are also connected to Criteo and Amazon and remain open to other opportunities as a connector goes off as quickly as it plugs in.
Why choose a managed service solution rather than the open source library prebid.js?
The implementation of the prebid.js wrapper is in theory not very complicated. In reality, it is very time-consuming and involves regularly mobilizing an IT team for which the advertising component is not always the priority. This is all the heavier as the workload is not limited to implementation, it is constant, depending on the updates of the wrapper or the integration of new partners. That's why we used Hubvisor's managed services offering, which handles all these aspects seamlessly with its client-side wrapper.
You have launched an advertising linkage offer, called 20 Minutes Puissance 3, with your two West France shareholders and the Rossel group (Voix du Nord Group, Union …). Are we in the same logic as Skyline, the offer announced by Le Monde and Le Figaro in July 2017, to weigh more together?
Rather than a Skyline-type business alliance, I would say that it is a technological alliance since this decision to join forces with our shareholders has materialized through the choice of a common seat within the platform. Google advertising that combines adserver and SSP. It's not neutral for 20 Minutes that was historically at Smart. It took a migration to Google almost a year and a half ago.
"With the inventory of Ouest France and Rossel, we move to nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors"
But it is indeed about weighing more together. This is why 20 Minutes supports, in passing, the over-the-counter sales and programmatic deals of the pubs inventories of Rossel and Ouest France at the national level. Rossel and Ouest France will market the bouquet locally. This alliance will enable us to increase from 16 million to nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors according to Médiamétrie // Netratings. This is essential in a market where reach is crucial to weigh in advertising plans.
Is it the same logic that dictates your decision to replace the Freewheel video player with that of Digiteka, in which your two shareholders also took a majority stake?
We have indeed migrated technically and commercially on the Digiteka platform where the video inventories of Rossel and Ouest France are also available. The technological independence of a media group is its strength, hence the importance of having its own player. It allows him to regain his technological sovereignty.
Regaining sovereignty also means limiting the number of sub-managers with whom you work?
All our decisions are motivated by the desire to regain control of a significant part of our turnover, advertising. This is the reason for the use of header bidding and it is also the reason for our decision to limit collaborations with sub-managers. We keep some like Taboola, Teads or Mobvalue and we will delete others. The value of a location lies in its rarity. An inventory accessible from everywhere is no longer so attractive. But to be able to handle this subject of monetization autonomously, one must be staffed accordingly. For the past year, we have been strengthening our recruitment and training so that all our employees are ready.