Airlines are not the only ones charging different for the same things
eMarketer and Bazaar Voice have presented their Digital Ad Pricing Trend for 2018. The need for a study like this arises from the obscure pricing environment ever present in this industry.
Much like buying an airplane ticket, where two significantly different fares might result in adjacent seats of the exact same quality, advertisers face pricing schemes which makes the automated process of buying an ad an uncertain move.
The report considers middlemen fees in order to figure out the price that would be paid without them. The authors conclude this middlemen tax takes about 40% of the paid price for any given ad. This means that 40 cents of every dollar spent will never reach the media owner or operator.
Of course, some of this money goes to actually useful tools: quality and viewability measurements, fraud prevention, etc. But the remainder is just a set of fees designed to tax an ad’s way through the ecosystem.
It is not surprising that costs have risen steadily, since everyone is looking for higher quality inventory and with publisher-side platforms zeroing in on low quality inventory to clean their supply.
Prices, unfortunately, will remain unclear. Unless some of the major players decide to be fully transparent of their supply path, coercing other smaller players to do the same, advertisers will have to increase their expenditure to get the same ads they intended from the very first moment.