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Weekly Roundup: Unified Auction Update, IAB’s TCF V2, SIMID, and More!

Adtech Weekly Roundup
“It feels like Google is treating us like children, and just taking away more control”

Google Unified Auction Update

Google is moving to the first-price unified auction and had a meeting with top U.S publishers recently to discuss the changes involved. Let’s continue from where we left off.

As we saw already, publishers aren’t welcoming the update, especially due to the unexpected constraints. Last week, Digiday covered the thoughts of UK publishers hearing the news from the meeting. There’s a couple of information that we believe would help you get more context about the unified auction.

“It feels like Google is treating us like children, and just taking away more control”

– An executive from a major UK Publisher.

– Win more, pay less.

Publishers set higher floor prices for Google, as per the source and that’s what we heard from the US publishers too. It adds up to the conclusion that Google has an advantage as publishers are pushed to set the same floor prices for all exchanges and SSPs with the unified auction. Google can win more impressions by paying less.

– Bid data

Google also promised that the publishers would get access to more bid data with unified auctions. At the moment, buyers can opt-in or out to share the bid data (auction data for an impression) and the ability will be taken away with the update.

– Google AdWords will have second-price auction

Google AdWords will remain in its second-price auction model. However, when the bids are passed, it’ll be considered on the first-price auction basis.


“But the tools we have used to set the many different floor prices we need for different buyers are being stripped away. It feels like this change is one step forward and two steps back for publishers.”

Though the first-price auction isn’t new, Google’s unified auction propels its own exchange/server forward. The company plans to host more one-to-one meetups with publishers across Europe and a group meeting in May, according to Digiday. We’ll keep you informed.

IAB Transparency and Consent Framework v2

The answer is here. We’ve been discussing the complaints against current Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), CMP, RTB for the last year. On top of that, Google decided to not to be part of IAB’s consent framework.

Finally, IAB patched up the holes as per the suggestions from the publishers, data authorities, and Google to update and release the second version of the framework. IAB launched it last week and it is now open for comment.

What has been improved?

Granularity is one of the important aspects of the CMP, which the original version couldn’t deliver as per the industry’s expectation. Well, it is all sorted now. The new framework will have better granular controls to collect legitimate interests for 12 purposes in total (it is 5 in the current version).

Here’s an example. Publishers can specifically collect and designate consent for ad personalization and/or content personalization – rather than just collectively getting the consent for personalization. Similarly, measurement purpose is divided into – ad campaign measurement, content performance, and audience insights. So, the publisher can precisely segment, display, and collect consent for the vendors based on what they actually do.

The v2 of TCF will also let publishers prevent ad tech companies’ from using consumer data.

What about Google?

We’re glad you asked. As per AdExchanger, Google is planning to join the framework once the v2 is finalized.


Apparently, the new version is better than the current framework in terms of both granularity and control. But Google and EU publishers have the potential to increase the adoption rate. Better adoption means better results for the ecosystem. Without a doubt, you should consider moving to the v2 if you’re using the TCF.

VPAID is getting replaced with a better spec

VPAID is simply a script designed to help all the parties in our ecosystem – publishers, advertisers, and vendors. In theory, the script will guide the player to play the right ad, at the right interval, for the right amount of time. It can help you to deliver rich ad experience and measure ad performance, viewability, completion rate, etc.

But the reality is completely different. Publishers never liked to rely on VPAID. It didn’t work on mobile and OTT environments wasn’t secure and transparent, and most importantly, slowed the page and affected the viewer experience. Then, there are errors you need to deal with regularly.

“So many publishers have just wanted to kill VPAID, but there was no answer”

– Dennis Buchheim, SVP and GM of the IAB Tech Lab (Src).

IAB Tech Lab released SIMID (Stands for Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition) to rid of VPAID and its inefficiencies. SIMID is like a VPAID, but with better control over user experience. It works on mobile and OTT environments. SIMID will work in tandem with VAST to help you deliver seamless interactive video ad experiences.

IAB Tech Lab intends to provide a complete suite to keep up with the increasing video demand. VAST (to enable basic ad delivery and interactivity), Open Measurement Interface/Open Measurement SDK (to help buyers use one integration for multiple verification vendors), and SIMID (to add interactive, creative elements to the video ad).

Programmatic buyers are trying to clean the ground

Media buyers continue to pass the middlemen to embrace direct relationships with the publishers. The supply path optimization is well and gaining traction among the programmatic buyers.

Recently, Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, and Association of National Advertisers discussed the possibility of removing the 12.5% sell-side fee TrustX charges on the publishers who participate in its exchange.

The reason is simple, advertisers want to ensure that the media sellers will stick to the exchange. In fact, programmatic buyers have become aware that they need to work proactively to direct more media dollars to publishers, rather than letting the intermediaries claim. And, that requires direct partnerships, SPO, and private marketplaces.

“Phase one of programmatic was really about the technology and ownership of data; whereas, phase two is about looking at how the publisher side of the supply chain comes into play”

– Vincent Rinaldi, head of addressable media at Hershey’s (Src).


The generic trend in programmatic accelerates the consolidation. As a publisher, you constantly need to analyze and partner with the right SSPs and exchanges to get the premium demand and CPMs. Sooner, it won’t really matter whether you have access to 10 or 15. It’s all about the quality and right partnerships.

Moments that matter

Embracing partnerships helped Twitter to increase its payout for publishers – Digiday

Can we adopt differential privacy to put an end to our privacy woes? –  Ad Exchanger.

Pivoting to paid is easier said than done – Digiday

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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