1. Who is Joey Leichman, and what do you do to make OpenX great?

My role is Senior Director, Buyer Development at OpenX. I’ve been with OpenX for two-and-a-half years, and I lead our US Buyer Development team. Our group looks after OpenX’s relationships with brands, agencies, trading desks, consultants and others who purchase programmatic media.

OpenX has aggregated incredible publisher supply and integrated with just about every commercial DSP in the market, so our team’s job is primarily about flexibility and choice: we help buyers easily access the inventory they want on their DSP(s) of choice using whichever buying model (open exchange, PMP, Real-Time Guaranteed) best suits their needs.

Increasingly, Buyer Development is helping our client partners navigate big-picture programmatic questions around Supply Path Optimization (SPO), marketplace quality, brand safety and how publisher tech like header bidding impacts the buy-side. We work in a very dynamic space – it can get confusing!

2. Can you share your thoughts on which topics come up the most in buyer conversations?

Transparency and inventory quality come up in every conversation. Transparency can mean many things, but the upshot is buyers want to know they’re actually getting what they think they’re getting, via a clear supply chain devoid of hidden or extraneous fees. Fundamentally, this may be the single most important element of any marketplace: a basic trust that business is being is conducted with integrity and in an aboveboard manner.

As for inventory quality, each buyer gets to determine how to delineate ‘good’ and ‘bad’ inventory. For years, considerations like viewability, above/below the fold, human vs. fraudulent traffic, etc., were paramount. Those things still matter, and ads.txt has introduced an entirely new dimension: whether your supply partner of choice is authorized to sell a piece of inventory in the first place.

Ads.txt is phenomenal because it’s so simple and binary – you don’t need to argue about discrepant reporting, dig into log files or pay a 3rd party to vet anything. You just need to look at a given publisher’s file or build a simple crawler to figure out who’s allowed to sell what.

Our group looks after OpenX’s relationships with brands, agencies, trading desks, consultants and others who purchase programmatic media.

Joey LeichmanSenior Director, Buyer Development at OpenX

3. What is next for your team and for OpenX?

We’re entering an era of supply consolidation. Programmatic marketers have spent years heavily focused on DSP selection (for good reason), with SSPs either an afterthought or complete non-thought. As DSP selections have largely been set and the buy-side has realized not all supply partners are created equal – thanks in no small part to a few marketers being publicly vocal about quality and fraud – SSPs are coming under the microscope.

We’re spending a huge amount of time with brands and agencies on consolidation efforts, and other groups at OpenX are doing the same with our DSP partners. Ultimately, arriving at a core set of ‘trusted SSPs’ is good for everyone: buyers can transact media with confidence and trust, DSPs can pare down to a manageable volume of bid requests, and publishers can eliminate SSPs who expose inventory to spoofing and arbitrage.

Oh, and Cannes! (Let us know if you’re going. There will be wine…)