In our industry, we all base our operations and finances of what is reported in a static UI at the end of the day as the billable number, not a real time auction price.
Yes, there are real time auctions, but the actual payment on these auctions change afterwards in reporting from both the buy and sell side, and from 3rd parties.
Nearly ALL of the ad tech revenue that is billed is reported by the buyer to the DSP, exchange and the end publisher, based on what the buyer displays in their reporting UI or what their verification partner clears as valid. All of this is well after the real time auction is complete. And this reporting changes even after it is published, often it will change many weeks afterwards.
Why and how can billable reporting change?
The IAB industry standard has had the buyer with audit control over payments. This came from a need to control of the performance and fraud that our wild west industry was plagued with in the beginning. The buyer has a right to check and determine the performance of the inventory they bought after the auction and change the publisher’s payment if they see any of the traffic they bought was:
Not from a human
Not “in view”
Not within the audience they contracted for
Not within the content (or placements) they contracted for
To determine the above, it takes investigations, 3rd party verification companies, changing databases and re-posting reporting counts. All of this happens frequently on any normal day or week.
This past year, there have been calls for more transparency for both sides with news on baked in buyer fees, auction adjustments, and demands for 100% “in view” on human traffic only.
All of these items have been already baked into the numbers in available reporting. I’m not saying any of these practices are right... or misleading. That’s up for you to decide as a buyer or seller.
But in the end, the reporting inside partner interfaces at the end of the month are the numbers in which we run our businesses. As long as our campaigns need to be recalibrated and adjjust our inventory based on daily reporting changes, we are not real time.
Co-Founder & CPO