About the Series

Welcome to the Ad Tech Build vs. Buy Series. In this series, we’ve tapped the expertise of our team, each of which has years of industry experience working with the pieces of the ad tech stack you’re considering implementing or purchasing.

In today’s entry in the series, we rely on the expertise of Nathan Thomas, our Senior Vice President of Ad Operations. He has over 13 years of experience in ad tech, specifically in helping to manage the technology across the ad tech stack. If anyone can tell you what you’ll need to know to decide on the right strategy for implementing ad serving solutions, it’s him!

Check out all the blogs in this series.

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Is it Time for a Brand Safety Solution?

We’ve worked hard on this series of ad tech build vs. buy blog posts because it’s a common choice publishers face when they are trying to implement or improve their advertising revenue strategies. For everything from direct sales all the way to brand safety solutions, you encounter this simple choice: should I build it myself or buy it from someone who is already doing it?

The answer, in the vast majority of cases, is to work with an expert. Ad tech is complicated, and doing it yourself puts your most important goal — increasing your revenue — in jeopardy. That’s certainly true of brand safety solutions, which is the topic we examine in this post. Read on to learn more about how to make your choice.

DIY is great for home repairs and holiday gifts, but for ad tech? Not so much. Playwire leads the way for countless publishers who are seeing their revenue reach new heights every single month. You can be one of those publishers and save yourself a lot of headaches in the process. Contact us.

Why Brand Safety Matters

Publishers tend to think big. So, when they start thinking about their ad tech stack, they focus on the meat and potatoes — the demand sources and ad servers, if you will. Brand safety is on the plate, but many publishers tend to think of it like a leafy green garnish.

We’ll take that analogy. If you want to grow your revenue in a healthy way, you need to eat your greens. Brand safety is critical in today’s digital advertising landscape. 

But why? Because advertisers want to be certain that their ads won’t show up alongside inappropriate content. And anyone who has used the internet for more than five minutes knows it’s full of things advertisers would not want to be associated.

Aside from the pure brand safety concerns regarding content or context of a page, advertisers also want to make sure their ads are seen (e.g. have high viewabilty), are shown to real person (e.g. a site shows low Invalid Traffic), and much more depending on the individual campaign.

Ultimately brand safety is an all-encompassing term for assuring advertisers that your content is worthy of their ads and, therefore, worth the cost of the inventory.

Your Choices: Integrate Brand Safety Solutions or Work with a Partner

You’re faced with two basic choices when it comes to brand safety solutions: integrate one or a few third-party solutions with your existing ad tech stack or work with a full-service revenue partner who will take care of that for you. 

The DIY aspect of integrating brand safety solutions is actually not as difficult as it is with ad servers and identity solutions. It’s still a lift, but it’s not going to send your dev team home in tears. 

Ultimately, the problems you’ll face are selecting a solution, and choosing to pay a hefty cost for a solution. Choosing a single brand safety solution to tie yourself to is a risky proposition, and to top it all off, none of them are cheap. 

The beauty of going with Playwire with an all-encompassing solution means you pay significantly less for a solution like this. The scale of our network helps afford us significantly lower rates than you’d get as a standalone site, making all of the identity solutions we include available to you at a fraction of the cost.

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making Your Choice

To determine whether you should integrate an established brand safety solution or pay a partner who can do it all for you, you need to ask yourself a couple of simple questions.

Who’s Keeping You Off of the Block Lists?

Maybe you’ve heard of block lists, or maybe not. Either way, these things can drive your revenue to absolute zero if you aren’t careful. Advertisers, agencies and holding groups all maintain their own block lists — lists of sites that they won’t run their ads on. If you end up on one, your access to demand for your inventory falls.

That’s a huge problem, especially if you’re on a list that includes big sources of demand. Another problem: you likely won’t even know you’re on the block list. So, who’s making sure you aren’t?

Third-party brand safety solutions are often automated and lacking in personal service, so you can bet that they won’t be calling up the major demand sources just to make sure your site isn’t on their block lists. But a partner like Playwire will do exactly that; in fact, we do it all the time. And we maintain relationships with industry players so that, when one of our publishers is on a block list, we can get them off of it.

Who Understands Your Audience and Traffic?

A lot of advertisers have verification providers who review traffic on sites like yours to determine whether it’s valid. If it’s looking a little fraudulent, they might label your traffic as invalid, and that hurts your ad revenue.

What if that traffic is, in fact, valid? Is your third-party brand safety solution going to address the matter and correct the mistake? More than likely, the answer is no. But here again, this is something Playwire does for publishers all the time.

Here’s an example: we work with a lot of kids’ education publishers whose sites are often accessed in classrooms. A ton of computers access the site from the same or similar IP addresses all at once. To a verification provider, that looks like invalid traffic. But it’s not, and we know that because we know and care about our publishers. So, we get on a call and clear the air so our publishers get the maximum revenue they deserve.

Final Question: What are You Waiting For?

If it’s not clear by now, let’s make sure there’s no confusion: integrating one or several brand safety solutions yourself is not ideal — especially when you put it next to the alternative, which is working with Playwire. It’s done for you to the highest degree of quality, complete with less stress and better outcomes. 

So, final question: what are you waiting for? The Playwire team is ready and willing to implement the brand safety solutions you need to keep your revenue thriving and drive it even higher. For help with this and a wide variety of other revenue concerns, reach out to Playwire today. Simply contact us online.

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