The “Cannes Conversations” will continue at two events at Cannes Lions Festival hosted by Rubicon Project: the 2nd Annual Agency Trading Desk Panel on Le Rooftop on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm and the 1st Annual Publisher Automation Panel on the Rubicon Project Yacht (the Antisan) Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm. Guests must RSVP here.

Your Name: Charlie Weiss

Your Company: News Corp

Your Title: VP, Ad Marketplaces

SEARS: What’s your favorite candy bar?

WEISS: Kit-Kat

SEARS: On average -- out of each $1.00 of advertising revenue received by your company, how much today is from automated or programmatic channels?

WEISS: It varies by business unit across News Corp. We have some business units where it’s very limited and we have others that I think will be a good percentage this year.

SEARS: What was this number in 2012?

WEISS: Nominal in any currency.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2016?

WEISS: I think it will grow in the next few years.

SEARS: Describe how most media (all media, digital + non-digital, non-programmatic media) is sold by your company today.

WEISS: The processes vary from unit to unit. The majority of our media in both print and digital is sold via insertion orders through traditional order management systems. We are working on evolving into new and innovative ways to help workflow management with tools like RelateIQ.

SEARS: Tell us about News Corp.

WEISS: News Corp comprises businesses across a range of media, including news and information services, cable network programming in Australia, digital real estate, book publishing, digital education and pay-TV in Australia. We also have Storyful which sources, verifies and monetizes social content, as well as our latest venture BallBall in Southeast Asia, which delivers near-live highlights of the world’s leading football leagues and other exclusive content in Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam.


SEARS: Percentage increase, advertising revenue via automated systems expected in 2014 vs. 2013:
WEISS: I think it will grow but can’t share.
SEARS: How many employees do you have globally?
Worldwide: Roughly 24,000
Europe – 4,000 in the UK
The United States – 9,000
Asia – 9,000 in Australia
Other – About another 2,000 or so across the rest of the world.

SEARS: What are New Corp’s three biggest initiatives for 2014?

1. Launch a global programmatic video offering in our key markets as well as Japan and Southeast Asia.
2. Continue to promote cooperation among our business units in the programmatic space.
3. Viewability and page-level data available in our private exchange

SEARS: By 2016, what percentage of total advertising sales across your company will be from an automated or programmatic channel?

WEISS: I anticipate growth in the next few years. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will all be digital.

SEARS: To reach a higher adoption of direct order automation (also known as programmatic premium) and use of the programmatic channel, what are the major impediments to overcome? Rank these in numerical order:

#3 Operational or workforce issues inside the holding companies or operating agencies
#1 Premium (direct deal) inventory availability via programmatic
#4 Lack of proper ad technology
#5 Alignment of agency compensation models

1) Marketplace is still largely a remnant play; need to elevate this to automating direct orders and more brand dollars.
2) Problem with fees across the space.
3) I think this is improving but still an issue of how organizations are setup.

SEARS: Tell us about your first party data strategy -- do you currently have a DMP (data management platform) for your first party data?

WEISS: Yes we have a global DMP in place. Initial impact resulted in some businesses immediately capitalizing on the opportunity to a slow on ramp process. The impact is higher CPMs and better results/products that we can offer our clients.

When we build out packages around first party data in Rubicon Project Orders, the big thing we want to get down is what is important in each of our primary markets for data, as well as what should we look to leverage globally vs. locally.

SEARS: Salesforce compensation. Do you compensate your salespeople for every dollar [or local currency equivalent] sold, regardless if the media is sold via insertion order (IO) manually or via an automated channel?

WEISS: Local businesses handle compensation but we promote compensating sales people on dollars from programmatic. I think this is important in terms of adoption and promoting sales people to want to learn about programmatic advertising.

SEARS: Direct sold inventory is often sold three to 12 months in advance. Which of the following choices best describe how you use direct order automation and Rubicon Project Orders—check all that apply:

1. __X_ We use direct order automation and Rubicon Project Orders to make available an “electronic version” of our media kit and related editorial calendar inventory packages (example: holiday or back-to-school themed packages) to buyers;
2. __X_ We use direct order automation and Rubicon Project Orders to make available premium placements such as home page, section pages and other opportunities that are not available in the open market;
3. __X_ We use direct order automation and Rubicon Project Orders to make available IAB Rising Star ad units and rich media ad units.

WEISS: Our programmatic offering is focused on the automation of ad dollars, whether it comes through real time bidding or a direct IO. We want our offering in Rubicon Project Orders to reflect that goal as well as the value of our audience and inventory.

SEARS: What advertising opportunities will never be sold via advertising automation?

WEISS: Very custom opportunities that utilize the strongest thing we offer, creating content. I can’t see our Custom Studios at the New York Post or Wall Street Journal ever automating because of the amount of detail and personalization needed for each campaign.

SEARS: Have you received “Programmatic RFPs” for your inventory? What do these look like and how are they different than traditional RFPs?

WEISS: We have had a couple, but they are more informal or part of a larger plan. The ones we have seen don’t look that different from a traditional RFP as they still focus on client objectives.

SEARS: What should top publisher chief revenue officers (CROs) do to build their direct order automation (also known as programmatic premium) and programmatic selling business with trading desks and operating agencies?

WEISS: The key thing is to work at your own speed and what makes sense for your business. It’s critical that launching programmatic comes with a lot of education and talking about the goals behind it. When we launched the global exchange we had clear objectives and goals for both the short and long term.

SEARS: Why is direct deal automation (also known as programmatic premium) so important? Is it important?

WEISS: It’s definitely important. I think automating a lot of the work that can take account managers and media planners hours will allow us to focus on providing more value to our clients. Workflow automation will hopefully reduce a lot of the headaches with billing and inventory availability.

SEARS: What global markets are the leaders and laggards in programmatic?

WEISS : I think the Australian and U.S. marketplaces are most advanced. I think the U.K and Europe are leading as well, but programmatic is very different by each country. I think in a few years Japan and SE Asia will also be huge marketplaces. I’m eager to launch programmatic in China but it’s a very small part of the market.

Tell us a bit more about you:

SEARS: Who was one of your first mentors as a child?

WEISS: Family, my dad. Still serves that role. It never hurts to have a lawyer’s point of view.

SEARS: What’s your favorite movie?

WEISS: I’d have to say two, both with Ed Norton. Either “Rounders” or “The 25th Hour.”

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

WEISS: Become a boat captain in the south of France or Martha’s Vineyard.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

WEISS: Ian’s Pizza in Madison, Wisconsin.

Thanks Charlie!

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