Google Moves In On Publishing, Launches Global Exchange With Time Inc. To Merge Ad Sales In The U.S. And UK

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A big move today for Google in its bid to play a larger role in how publishers sell online advertising. Today it has announced the launch of the Time Inc. Global Exchange, a new ad exchange, powered by DoubleClick, that will let advertisers buy ad placements across not just Time’s online publications in the U.S. but in other countries, too, and across multiple platforms (mainly desktop and mobile).

That will begin first with the UK Time Inc.’s IPC Media division. In total, the exchange will cover some 116 million consumers, the companies say — one of the largest premium exchanges on the market today.

The move comes one day after Google announced another outsourcing deal of sorts for another publisher: it is launching an ad exchange for the Local Media Consortium, a group of some 800 local newspapers and 200 local broadcast stations. Google works with a number of publishers on private exchanges, with other large publishers including Conde Nast, Forbes and CBS Interactive.

I’ve reached out to both IPC and Google to ask for more details about the terms of the deal — whether Google is getting a flat fee for the service or whether it will take a cut on each ad sold. If the deal with the LMC is anything to go by it looks like it will be the latter. (Update: Google is not discussing the specific terms of this deal.)

For now, we know that this will for the first time bring together the ability to buy ads across a number of very high-profile sites that include Time, People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Wallpaper, the music mag NME (see cool rocker image pictured here) and Marie Claire. While many of these sites individually see decent traffic, in the game of advertising it’s about massive scale, and so the bigger the better. It’s also a significant move to make the experience of buying ads more seamless for marketers. Having a single go-to place to buy ads across a range of sites, and to monitor the analytics on those ads once they’re running, will make it more likely that those marketers will use the platform for more (or so the thinking goes).

Interestingly, this looks like it will go deeper than simply buying across publications. Google and Time Inc. will create “editorial-themed” packages that will, for example, let a media buyer make a placement near all stories that cover cars, or a particular country, and so on. You can see how this would leverage also some of Google’s search power across all of these sites.

“We have been growing our programmatic capabilities and offering across the IPC portfolio exponentially since the middle of last year,” noted Sam Finlay, head of digital advertising, IPC Media, in a statement. “This new initiative, partnering with our parent company Time Inc. on the DoubleClick AdExchange, creates a premium portfolio of scale for our clients to access across a broad range of audiences. We believe this is an unrivalled offering in the market and we are very excited by its potential.”

To be sure, this is a deal that is probably most beneficial to Time Inc.’s interests outside of the U.S. In its home market, the company has 130 million unique users monthly across its dozens of titles and screens. IPC Media, on the other hand, has traffic of only about 26 million monthly uniques across its 60 titles.

On a wider scale, Google is making other moves to leverage the global reach of its platform. Earlier today, Russian search giant Yandex announced a deal that will see advertisers on its own advertising network be able to bid for display ads on the DoubleClick AdExchange and the publishing partners that exist on it, and vice versa. To be clear, this is not directly related to deals like the one for Time Inc. and the LMC, which are building private ad exchanges on the DoubleClick AdExchange platform.

Photo: IPC Media