Case Study

EMR: Real Savings and Exceptional Outcomes for DSPs

September 10, 2018
By Adam Soroca, Head of Global Buyer Team

We recently announced that 50% of DSPs on our exchange are using Estimated Market Rate (EMR) an optional feature we launched in January to help drive better outcomes for them and their clients.

In the first half of this year, platforms that used the EMR algorithm saw an average of 20% savings over pure first-price auctions while still meeting their campaign goals. And during the same period, Rubicon Project distributed more payments to sellers than any first half in our history.

In this post we’re going to share some of our partners’ experiences with EMR. But before we do, let’s talk briefly about why Rubicon Project developed it and how it works. In short, we designed the feature to help buyers get better performance in a world where a first-price auction in the publisher’s header is the norm. In this environment, the challenge for many DSPs today isn’t just winning, but doing so at fair market rates that are more efficient and sustainable over time.

EMR works by harnessing Rubicon Project’s vast dataset of auction outcomes to analyze factors such as inventory type, target audience and CPM, and then find opportunities to decrease buyers’ initial bids without sacrificing their competitiveness downstream.

Cost Savings Mean Better Outcomes for Buyers

Since its launch in January 2018, EMR has delivered millions of dollars of cost-savings for DSPs and their clients.

For example, EMR is being used by leading global multi-channel DSP Adform—a platform that transacts billions of impressions per day across various exchanges. Over a two-month period, EMR saved Adform and their buyers roughly $875,000 over what they would have paid to win the same number of impressions with pure first-price bids.

Said Rick Jones, Adform’s SVP Global Revenue Development: “EMR delivered our clients a CPM savings of over 22% versus pure first-price while sacrificing just 0.7% in win rate.  In other words, we saved substantially for our customers while still providing excellent results.”

Rubicon Project partner MediaMath has experienced similar results. According to Lewis Rothkopf, the platform’s General Manager of Media and Growth Channels: “EMR has yielded us added buying efficiency versus pure first-price while still delivering our campaigns in full. This equates to millions in value for our clients.”

This was echoed by Rory Edwards, VP Marketplace & Corporate Strategy at dataxu: “EMR has been a helpful tool for dataxu as we’ve addressed the transition to first-price auction. The algorithm utilizes market intelligence from Rubicon Project’s exchange to help us enhance our bidding strategy.”

Complementing DSPs’ Existing Tech

Though Rubicon Project initially launched EMR for DSPs that hadn’t yet tuned their bidding logic for first-price auctions, platforms of all kinds now use the feature alongside their state-of-the-art, first-price-enabled algorithms.

Adform’s Jones agreed: “We’ve built a smart and sophisticated bidder, but Rubicon Project has access to troves of market and pricing data that add a layer of unique value to our bids. This is what makes EMR so complementary to the Adform bidder for driving better outcomes.”

Directing Spend Toward Performance

In today’s market environment, it’s common for the same inventory to be available through multiple exchanges. For this reason, the smartest buyers are gravitating to partners that make every dollar go further. With tools like EMR, buyers are more effectively finding those optimal routes to supply, and doing so with confidence that every bid will produce a better outcome.

“Rubicon Project’s innovative EMR feature proves their commitment to helping us achieve the best possible performance for our clients,” said MediaMath’s Rothkopf. “Our systems always optimize towards those supply paths that protect against overpayment in a first-price environment.”

To find out more about how EMR works and how it can help you, check out these case studies, download our EMR whitepaper for buyers, or reach out to your Rubicon Project account manager.

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