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The SpaceStation – First African publisher to offer programmatic page takeovers

The SpaceStation is the first publisher in Africa to offer page takeovers and transitional ads (between the page ads) programmatically. “We approached DoubleClick a few months ago to discuss how we can make our page takeovers available programmatically; and when they began testing Programmatic Guaranteed with Custom Creatives, The SpaceStation became one of their selected global test partners”, says Farah Thompson, GM of Ad Operations at The SpaceStation.

The ability to execute programmatic page takeovers and transitional ad buying is an enhancement of existing technology, which will make it a lot more efficient for buyers and sellers to transact these premium ad units. Traditionally, there has been a perception that programmatic inventory is cheaper and less valuable than inventory bought through a direct insertion order (IO); partially because the technology did not initially support more sophisticated media executions.

Paula Raubenheimer, Head of Programmatic at The SpaceStation says: “we want to make premium programmatic buying more fluid and competitive in terms of the type of real estate one can buy. Agencies and marketers have wanted to buy background branding and transitional ads programmatically, but nobody could offer it until now. Being first to market in Africa with this innovative technology solidifies our aim of being the market leader in technology solutions. Our buyers can now execute their entire buy programmatically if they wish, instead of utilising direct buys for background branding and the remainder through programmatic buys”.

The SpaceStation will be offering takeovers and transitional ads to their preferred partners and are working closely with the DoubleClick support team in the final testing phase. The SpaceStation was selected as a beta partner due to their proactive interest, they already accommodated the formats on their properties and they had the ability to execute the coding changes quickly.

“We believe that this offering will greatly assist in changing the industry perception that programmatic is best used for performance based buys, to one that comprehensively includes brand buying options as well. Adding audience targeting to the mix in the near future would make for even more exciting brand buying options. This launch is one small part of our bigger programmatic strategy”, concludes Farah.

The Beta testing which launched in September will initially only offer straight site buys, but in time programmatic audience targeting, segment building and retargeting will be added. Programmatic background branding buys for mobile will also be introduced in the near future.