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OpenX launches industry’s first transparent first-price auction for programmatic buying

OpenX, the global leader in quality programmatic advertising, has launched first-price auction functionality, the industry’s first fully transparent first-price auction solution enabling buyers and publishers to effectively navigate the changing auction dynamics in programmatic advertising.

The announcement follows a year long development effort in partnership with demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs) seeking greater control and transparency into how inventory is bought and sold via programmatic auctions today. OpenX is the only technology provider in the world now offering both fully transparent first and second-price auctions to the market.

“Transparency is absolutely key to the growth of programmatic advertising globally,” said Jay Friedman, COO, Goodway Group. “When it comes to second or first price auction mechanics, it is critical that we have total transparency into whether our bids will be treated as first or second-price to competitively bid and ensure fairness in the market. I’m proud of OpenX for being the first to introduce a truly transparent first-price auction functionality. Other SSPs should embrace similar transparent approaches in short order.”

As a market leader in delivering innovative header bidding solutions globally, OpenX developed its first-price auction solution with the belief that all buyers should be empowered with complete transparency and control over the type of auction in which they compete. OpenX’s first-price auction technology provides buyers with unparalleled insights to help them optimise their bidding strategies and allows publishers to better understand performance for each auction type.

To achieve this level of transparency and control, OpenX’s first-price auction technology leverages two separate OpenRTB standard parameters in the bid request. The signals enable DSPs to know which type of auction they are competing in and which partner has the final decision to best optimise their bidding strategy in the OpenX Exchange.

By embracing a development process founded in transparency, OpenX worked directly with buyers to evolve their programmatic strategy to ensure opt-in to the new first-price standards. This collaboration stands in stark contrast to the efforts of some SSPs that have attempted to increase win rates and revenue by  de  facto  “first-pricing”  DSP  bids  via  undisclosed manipulations to the auction.

“The second-price auction has been the underpinning of the programmatic marketplace since inception. In today’s header bidding world however buyers and publishers are seeking new and innovative technology to ensure that both quality and transparency shape the future of digital advertising,” said Jason Fairchild, CRO and co-founder at OpenX. “Building enduring trust in the programmatic value chain requires participants have full transparency into whether the auction is run on a first-price or second-price basis, providing buyers with total control over how they wish to engage in the auction. This transparent approach will enable an orderly evolution to an industry-wide auction construct that empowers buyers and publishers to do business with confidence.”

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