PubMatic launches Activate, bringing programmatic automation to direct deals for CTV and video


PubMatic, an independent technology company delivering digital advertising’s supply chain of the future, has launched Activate, a new end-to-end supply path optimisation (SPO) solution that allows buyers to execute non-bidded direct deals on PubMatic’s programmatic platform, accessing premium video and CTV inventory at scale.

Initial launch partners include dentsu, FuboTV, GroupM, Havas, LG, Mars and Omnicom Media Group Germany.

Activate represents a new industry paradigm as it is a single layer of technology that directly connects buyers and sellers of digital media. Activate gives buyers more control over their omnichannel video investments by executing deals across PubMatic’s premium CTV and online video inventory in one platform, enabling a seamless transition of their direct business to programmatic private marketplace (PMP) or programmatic guaranteed (PG). 

Activate is expected to facilitate the transition of insertion order budgets into the programmatic ecosystem due to the reduction in complexity, time, and cost achieved by the single technology layer approach. As a result, buyers may expect increased ROI and publishers may see increased revenue.

“Buyers and sellers of digital media are seeking a more efficient, transparent, and sustainable supply chain that delivers on programmatic’s full potential,” said PubMatic co-founder and CEO, Rajeev Goel. “Activate extends the successful supply path optimization strategy we pioneered more than four years ago. 

“By seamlessly connecting buyers and content owners via a single layer of technology, we are significantly reducing the hops, discrepancies, data proliferation, opacity, and complexity in the programmatic marketplace. This will result in higher ROI for buyers and increased revenue for publishers, consistent with our mission to fuel the endless potential of internet content creators who rely on advertising as a primary source of revenue.”

Built leveraging technology from PubMatic’s 2022 acquisition of Martin, Activate is fully integrated into PubMatic’s growing software suite, including the PubMatic Sell-Side Platform and Connect.

As consumer behaviour shifts towards streaming, publishers and buyers need more efficient ways to transact across CTV and video inventory. By modernising and customising the digital advertising supply chain based on customer needs, Activate brings automation to the pool of CTV and video inventory that is still using outdated transaction methods. Non-programmatic insertion orders are expected to account for almost 60% of CTV and 18% of online video transactions in 2023, according to industry estimates. Activate represents a nearly $65 billion expansion of PubMatic’s total addressable market.

Advertiser Comments on Activate:

dentsu - “Dentsu is committed to partnerships that drive innovation, effectiveness, and efficiency in the digital advertising supply chain,” said Brad Stockton, SVP, Video Innovation at dentsu. “Utilising PubMatic’s Activate allows our advertisers greater control over video and CTV investments and brings more working media into the ecosystem.”

GroupM - “Making sure our clients access media in the most efficient and effective way possible is a core priority for us,” said Axel Jonuschies, GroupM’s Managing Partner for Global Programmatic Investment. “We’ve been partnering with PubMatic on optimising our supply path for several years and more recently launched GroupM Premium Marketplace with them, providing the most direct and transparent connection to premium CTV and video publishers. With Activate, we are now able to further build on our marketplace, allowing our clients to maximise their working media and minimise technology costs on guaranteed activations.”

Havas - “PubMatic has been a longtime, valuable partner in helping Havas Media deliver transparent and sustainable solutions for advertisers,” said Tom Grant, SVP Group Director, Investment Operations, Havas Media Group North America. “We’re excited to see their continued innovation and effectiveness in streamlining the programmatic supply chain across video and TV buying.”

Mars - “Mars is committed to creating efficiency and sustainability in our advertising supply chain,” said Ron Amram, Global Head of Media at Mars. “PubMatic’s Activate is aligned to our SPO strategy, giving us greater control over how, where, and when our CTV and video budgets are allocated and contribute to the overall growth of our business.”

Omnicom Media Group Germany - “In our effort to master the key challenges of the programmatic market, sustainably reduce complexity for our clients, and provide more transparency, efficiency and brand safety, we are continuously screening the market for innovative, high-quality technology partners,” said Can Zeybekler, Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group Germany, and Managing Director MPX. “We are excited to collaborate with PubMatic on Activate to further develop our CTV business, achieve better campaign results, and create a more efficient advertising supply chain.”

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