The rise of Ad Exchanges has made it easier for buyers and sellers to connect, using technologies such as real-time bidding (RTB) to help unlock more value for every impression. Exchanges have also provided a number of efficiency benefits such as the elimination of Insertion Orders and trafficking headaches for every transaction and the ability for publishers to manage controls across a broad set of buyers. Increasingly, publishers have been innovating on this platform by making exclusive tiers of inventory available to select buyers via exchanges, a model typically known as a “private exchange”. Private exchanges allow publishers to better leverage their brands and sales relationships and provide buyers with enhanced access to premium inventory.

While we’ve offered the ability for sellers to list inventory privately in the DoubleClick Ad Exchange auction for more than a year, it was clear that the industry was also ready for yet another evolutionary step in exchange buying. Both buyers and sellers wanted even more flexibility, control and pricing certainty for select transactions, while continuing to manage all of their exchange deals in an integrated fashion. In response, we’ve continued to evolve DoubleClick Ad Exchange to meet these needs by rolling-out a new solution called Ad Exchange Direct Deals.

This new type of exchange deal allows publishers to offer inventory on DoubleClick Ad Exchange to specific buyers at a fixed price, instead of determining the price via auction. This inventory is also offered on a pre-auction basis, which means that publishers can give these select buyers “first look” access, while still making the ad impression available in our open exchange if it remains unsold. Publishers typically negotiate these fixed price exchange deals directly with sophisticated exchange buyers, such as large agencies or ad networks buying in real-time.

Direct Deals allows publishers to forge relationships with new, data-driven, buyers and benefit from the efficiency of an exchange transaction, such as “insertion-orderless” buying and automated clearing of payments. At the same time, publishers can use standard Ad Exchange protections from unwanted data collection, restricted advertiser categories, malware and latency. Advertisers gain more seamless access to high quality publisher inventory and pricing certainty.

Premium publishers, such as The Washington Post and, have been early testers of this feature working with leading exchange buyers such as Criteo, who specializes in expanding search budgets into display. For Criteo, this feature has meant new opportunities to connect with publishers. “Working directly with publishers has always been critical for Criteo, as a way to access the best inventory and deliver the highest CPMs to publishers. We are delighted to be using Direct Deals as a new way to achieve this, with all the advantages of a real-time mechanism,” said Jonathan Wolf, Chief Buying Officer at Criteo.

Direct Deals joins a number of other sales models supported by DoubleClick Ad Exchange, including branded, anonymous and private auctions. Sellers using the DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) platform for direct sales can also benefit from dynamic integration with DoubleClick Ad Exchange to ensure that the most profitable impression is delivered for every impression. We are excited to introduce this new level of flexibility to Ad Exchange to help buyers improve the effectiveness of their campaigns and sellers profit from real-time display buying on their terms. DoubleClick Ad Exchange advertisers and publishers can contact their account manager to join the Direct Deals beta program.

Posted by Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management