PARIS: Ditching a number of ad tech vendors has helped leading French news brands Le Figaro and Le Monde significantly increase their video ad revenue.

The two titles set up Skyline, a joint ad sales alliance last year. Between them, Le Monde and Le Figaro media brands have in the region of 35m unique monthly users, compared to Google’s 44m, Facebook’s 40m and Microsoft’s 36m, according to Digiday.

Since September 2017, advertisers have been able to use the Skyline alliance to run campaigns across the sites of all 20 media brands owned by the two owners, with results audited by Integral Ad Science.

A separate part of the process has involved reviewing the number of ad tech vendors used. Digiday reported that 12 have been shed, including Teads, Advideum, Mobvalue and Sublime Skinz, so that Skyline’s core partners are now AppNexus and Google.

“We’ve cut pretty much everyone,” said Alexis Marcombe, chief operating officer at Le Figaro. “Since we started Skyline, every time we have cut an ad tech vendor, we have made much more money,” he added.

Le Figaro’s video ad revenue has leapt 50%, he revealed, and he expected that Le Monde’s results would be similar.

“The goal of the publisher is not aligned with the goal of the vendor, which becomes apparent as soon as you start working with one,” Marcombe explained.

“As a publisher, if you plug everyone in and they offer you a minimum guarantee, but you don’t know how it is generated, you can be sure something is not right. You have to operate with your own technology.”

That costs involved make that an expensive option, Marcombe acknowledged, but he reported that “the money returned to us was pretty instantaneous”.

One of the reasons that was possible was because the Skyline ad stack was able to offer the level of quality as that of vendors.

“We prefer to get back [control of] our inventory and offer full transparency on what advertisers are buying to ensure they’re getting the real value of our inventory,” Marcombe stated..

Sourced from Digiday; additional content by WARC staff