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 paperwork (known as “insertion orders”) and trafficking for every transaction. Increasingly, deal types have been evolving on this platform as publishers have been making exclusive tiers of inventory available to select buyers via exchanges, a model typically known as a “private exchange”. Private exchanges can provide buyers with enhanced access to premium inventory.

While buyers and sellers have been transacting with anonymous inventory 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 some transactions. In tandem, we’ve continued to evolve the Ad Exchange to meet these needs by rolling-out a new solution called Ad Exchange Direct Deals.

This new type of exchange deal allows buyers to access inventory from publishers at a fixed price through DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This differs from typical deals where the price is set through the auction. With Direct Deals, buyers get access to inventory on a pre-auction basis, thus getting “first look” access.

For buyers, this creates a bridge between the spot and reserve markets for display inventory. It helps buyers benefit from the high quality publisher inventory that the reserve market is known for while preserving the audience targeting power that the data-driven spot market is known for. With Direct Deals, buyers keep the efficiency of the exchange transaction, such as “insertion-orderless” buying and an ability to buy on an impression-by-impression basis, all while enjoying the pricing certainty of the directly negotiated deal. Accessing inventory through Direct Deals in combination with using brand-friendly formats like in-stream video and rich media will help advertisers execute brand campaigns against specific audiences and further unlock the branding potential of exchange-based buying.

Premium publishers, such as Washington Post and, have been early testers of this feature working with leading exchange buyers such as re-targeting network, Criteo. For Criteo, this feature has meant new opportunities to connect with publishers. Jonathan Wolf, Chief Buying Officer at Criteo says, “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.”

Here at Google, 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.