PubMatic Launches Self-Serve Commerce Media Platform ‘Convert’

Tim Cross 25 July, 2023 

Supply-side platform PubMatic has this morning announced the launch of ‘Convert’, which it describes as a “unified self-service advertising platform for commerce media”. The new product is designed to help commerce media networks sell inventory both onsite and offsite, including sponsored listing ads on ecommerce stores, retail data-powered CTV and video ads, and display ads. Buyers will also be able to access this inventory through agencies which have direct relationships with the SSP via supply path optimisation (SPO) deals.

PubMatic says Convert is aimed at both traditional retailers, as well as other transaction-based businesses (such as food delivery, ride-share, and travel companies, many of which have been building out their ad offerings recently). Convert will handle monetisation and optimisation across formats, helping retail companies spin up ad sales on their owned and operated sites, and run audience extensions on third-party media. PubMatic says Convert will ensure transparency in fee and pricing structures.

IPG Mediabrands, Dentsu, Lyft Media, MiQ, and Wallapop are among those which have signed up to work with Convert at launch, with some of these playing a role in the development of the product.

Value Add

PubMatic, like most SSPs, has been working to evolve its offering in recent years, reconfiguring its space in the ad tech supply chain.

While publisher yield management (alongside providing the basic supply-side pipes) has historically been the name of the game for SSPs, the growth of header bidding has limited their ability to do this. As such, SSPs have been looking for other areas they can add value.

In some cases, this has been through forging direct relationships with the buy-side, as PubMatic is doing via various SPO deals, as well as its Activate product launched earlier this year. Several, including PubMatic, have also been playing a bigger role in activating publishers’ audience data. And retail media looks like another potential growth area for SSPs.

Retail media, as is often the case with rapidly growing media types, is currently very fragmented. Many retailers are opting for walled garden models, which gives them control over the product, but makes it harder for buyers to buy and optimise across different retail media networks.

PubMatic sees a chance to add value here, working across all retailers opting out of walled garden models. The SSP says Convert will help “streamline the complex and fragmented commerce media marketplace”, making it easier for buyers to access this inventory. And the nature of commerce media – which combines a number of disparate media channels – means SSPs can play a big role in helping retailers and retail media networks maximise their ad income across all these different channels.

“Commerce media will create another long-term growth driver for PubMatic’s business,” said Peter Barry, VP of addressability and commerce media at PubMatic. “Data access, monetisation, and control are critical for commerce media networks and their advertisers, and PubMatic has a strong history of leadership and innovation in these areas. By making substantial investments in developing customised technology with Convert, we are confident in our ability to continue to drive increased value for our customers.”

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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