Thought Leadership

Michael Barrett on SPO

June 3, 2019

For the past year, agencies, brands and DSPs have been buzzing about SPO. Supply Path Optimization – strategically reducing the number of partners in a buyer’s supply chain – has been touted as a way to increase transparency and boost the value of media spend. But has all the talk about SPO led to any real change?

We asked Rubicon Project President and CEO Michael Barrett for his take on how SPO has affected the industry, and what he sees coming up.


What impact do you think SPO is having on the industry?

Oh, I don’t think we’ve really felt it in earnest yet. I know that Adam’s team is having detailed conversations with holding companies, agency holding companies, where they’re limiting partners from ten partners to five partners, and, keep in mind, that number was thirty partners.

The guys that seem to be getting cut out of the flow right now are folks that haven’t really resulted in a huge shift to spend for our platform, but I feel very good about where we stand in terms of our role in helping Supply Path Optimization occur, and where we stand to benefit when it does occur.

And I do think Demand Manager, fully flushed out, years from now, will be the ultimate Supply Path Optimization tool, ripping demand out of exchanges and plugging it directly into publishers.

That’s a vision that’s downstream, but you don’t get any more SPO than that.

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