Posts by: Emry Downinghall

With over seven years experience in digital advertising and yield optimization, Emry serves as the director of StudyBreak Media and a founding member of the team. Before StudyBreak Media, Emry was an original member of EasyBib.com. He graduated from Temple University (Go Owls!), lives in Brooklyn Heights and has a mysterious passion for R&B.

Digital Advertising Terms and Definitions Glossary

General terms:

  • Ad tag – Typically served as javascript through a website’s ad server, an ad tag allows a website to communicate with an ad partner and serve an appropriate ad
  • Ad exchange – an ad partner that serves as a broker between a publisher and an advertiser. Ad exchanges use RTB technology to sell a publisher’s inventory in an auction-like manner. Typically, you can set a price floor within an ad exchange and you’ll receive a higher rate due to the auctioning process.
  • Ad network – an ad partner that serves as a middle man between a publisher and an advertiser. Typically, ad networks provide you with a static rate for your inventory that rarely fluctuates.
  • Auction Price Floor – This is the same idea as a standard price floor but in an auction or programmatic environment the floor serves as a minimum but can be exceeded by higher bidding. For example if you set your price floor at $1 you can still receives bids at $1.25 but not $.75.
  • Creative – You will often here this word used to refer to the actual images the advertising display

Read More

How To Pitch Your Digital Media Solutions to Publishers

Working closely with a wide number of demand partners over the years, one thing I’m consistently asked is what’s the most effective way to communicate value with publishers? This is an answer everyone in the space is seeking, from the largest fish (Google) to the smallest specialty rep firms or SSPs. As you’re probably aware, there isn’t one definitive answer (outside of every publisher is different, which of course isn’t helpful). But, there are certainly some best practices and there are absolutely things you should avoid when trying to win a new publisher’s business. Here are some suggestions for best practices:
Read More

How to effectively pitch your digital media (buy side) solution to publishers (sell side)

Working closely with a wide number of demand partners over the years, one thing I’m consistently asked is what’s the most effective way to communicate value with publishers? This is an answer everyone in the space is seeking from the largest fish (Google) to the smallest specialty rep firms or SSPs.

As you’re probably aware, there isn’t one definitive answer (outside of ever publisher is different, which of course isn’t helpful) but there are certainly some best practices and there are absolutely things you should avoid when trying to win a new publishers business. While not everyone can achieve this, there are certainly best practices to follow: Read More

Google DFP: Blending an uncapped manage demand stack with capped deals and AdX dynamic allocation

At StudyBreak Media our objective is straight forward. We aim to maximize the value of 100% of our partners IAB inventory while protecting their brand.

If that sounds like marketing speak, frankly, it is. It’s a one sentence summary of a process that’s taken seven years to develop and countless hours of testing, failing, and testing again until success. Part of the reason we have this blog is to share and communicate what we’ve learned along the way. When you’re serving over 5,000,000,000 impressions a year you’re forced to keep a close eye on things and we challenge ourselves to consistently innovate. Today I’d like to share an ad serving problem we were having, and a proposed solution to that problem.

If you have any further questions about this process, why we’ve elected to institute it or how it was done, contact us here. Also, I’d like to thank Kevin Davis from Findthebest.com, Winston Park from MyFitnesspal.com, and John Li of Menuism.com for helping us figure this out.

Read More

A Refreshing Debate: Amending Google’s Anti Auto-Refresh Policy

The supporting argument for publishers auto-refreshing their webpage is simple: An increased refresh rate leads to more ad impressions which leads to more revenue.  Pretty straight forward.

The dissenting argument on the demand side is also very clear: Ad refreshes that aren’t triggered by the user are less likely to be engaged by that user, paying and performing worse for the publisher and the client. The ultimate result of this, they argue, is devalued inventory for publishers and unhappy clients for demand partners.

In general, when both sides of an argument present truly rational cases for their position the result is slow progress. Although we believe both sides of the auto-refresh debate have merit, there are some important distinctions to consider about both positions .
Read More

StudyBreak Media: Ruminations of a Publisher

- - Editorial - no comments

In digital media, everyone aims to be different. In truth, most companies are the same or at least very similar. While perhaps I’m naïve, and certainly bias, I feel we’re on the path to achieving something unique at StudyBreak Media and this blog is our voice.

Have you ever seen the display LUMA slide? It’s terrifying. And those are the reputable companies!

If you’re in any aspect of this business, you know what I’m talking about. Every publisher has been offered a deal that sounds too good to be true. Whether it’s a fixed CPM rate, a 100% fill, boatloads of rich media, direct deals, whatever. People in our industry make a lot of promises.

With this blog, we want to create a place where partners, and their results are reviewed and discussed openly and honestly. Did they pay on time? Did they actually deliver on their promises? Did they hold their price floors? Do they answer your emails?

The goal isn’t to drag anyone through the mud or expose any confidential information (NDA’s will be upheld… we respect wood), the goal is simple: Separate the providers who offer real value to publishers from those that don’t.

The unique advantage we have at StudyBreak Media is we started as publishers and we remain publishers today. The media aspect of our company is simply the effort of bundling and selling of our student focused inventory directly. The aspect of our business where we’ve had the most success is yield optimization for remnant and programmatic inventory. With the large majority of our impressions relying on the “remnant” market, working with quality demand partners is critical. During my seven years in this industry, I’ve worked with a lot of companies and seen a lot of things. While I’ve made plenty of mistakes, I’ve also been able to couple that with success, which I define as protecting the brands of the sites I’m controlling while maximizing revenue.

Over the years I’ve realized there’s no secret or cheat codes to this game. The reason I, and now with a talented team we, consistently outperform the market is because we commit to analyzing the data and making setup changes every day, dedicate ourselves to efficient ad serving and only work with partners who are truly adding value.

This is a meritocracy.

With this blog we’ll be bringing you our thoughts, insights and what we’re up to. We’re also going to use this as a platform to let others share theirs. If it’s a publisher, we’ll try to uncover what they do well, maybe it’s different from what we do and that’s fine. If it’s a company, we’ll let them speak candidly about what they offer and hold them to it.

The goal is to create a resource publishers can use to better their business, whether they’re our clients or not. The best part of this industry is we can share what works with one another and that’s what we’re going to do.