Sourcetop evolves
Copyright Billboard magazine

Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter

Creating a full-stack ad platform with header bidding, real-time configurable insertions and SSP management across multiple domains.

The Challenge

MRC Media manages multiple properties with Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter their most prominent assets. Their legacy ad tech was not taking advantage of the high page views compared to their peers and they needed a more flexible ad platform. In addition viewability was well below the industry standard of 70%.

Traditionally, changes to any ad platform requires a code push to add or remove SSPs (ad partners), create new slots or change any of the dozens of settings to optimize user experience – meaning any updates took at least a day to go through development. Waiting for code pushes means lost revenue and missed opportunities and the client wanted to make these changes in real-time.

Sourcetop’s Solution

We, along with the client, rethought how ad management should work and created a custom ad platform to manage, in real-time, display and video advertising with the insertion of a single ad wrapper. With a control room type interface the platform manages native ad placements with Google Ad Manager and automatically fills excess inventory using Pre-bid and header bidding across 17 SSPs (ad networks) plus Amazon Ads ensuring optimum price for each ad slot.

The client can fine-tune refresh settings, key value pairs, size mapping and lazy load settings along with adding and removing SSPs – monitoring performance and adjusting like an orchestra conductor.

One of the most powerful features is the ability to dynamically add new slots for last minute buys. Ad managers can add any style, in any location without the need to update the site itself by injecting ad slots directly in the page code before rendering. This allows for custom ad buys and timed campaigns that can come and go as needed.

I have been working with Sourcetop over the last three years across two companies and look forward to working with them for the rest of my career.
Billboard / MRC Media
SVP of Engineering

The Results

The new ad platform increased ad revenue 200% across both properties in the first month. After some fine-tuning, adding more SSPs and rethinking ad placements, Billboard saw a lift of 250% and The Hollywood Reporter is running at 300% more monthly ad revenue. With the help of more granular key/value targeting we have increased viewability in some cases above 90%. Well above the industry standard.

With the success of the ad platform Sourcetop was engaged to help them move to a new membership platform and tackle other day-to-day development needs as part of a long-term agreement.

Amazon Advertising
Google Ad Manager