Interview of Hi-Media's CEO, Cyril Zimmermann, with Exchangewire

Specialising in digital media since 1996, Hi-Media has grown considerably over the years, now boasting an R&D team of 100 engineers and IT specialists. A year after the announcement of their automated marketplace at ATS London 2011, CEO Cyril Zimmermann discusses how far they’ve come since then and what we can expect from Hi-Media in 2013.

It’s been over a year since you launched your marketplace at the last ATS London. How has shifting inventory to the automated channel helped the Hi-Media business in France and Europe?

As you say, we have moved all our inventory to our automated marketplace. This was possible since we had a different business model than traditional ad networks like Specific Media, Adconion, etc. We’ve always positioned ourselves rather like a media company, with a determined perimeter of ad inventory either provided by owned and operated websites or third-party websites, with whom we have exclusive agreements. The several tens of billions of ad impressions a month, and the quality and diversity of the audience we bring to our marketplace, cannot be found anywhere else.

This being said, it has been a tough challenge, but today we are really satisfied with the shift to the automated channel and it is a real success. Sell-through ratios have increased over our global inventory, thanks to new flows of RTB campaigns that we didn’t have previously. In September 2012, (i.e. 10 months after going live with our marketplace) we had campaigns from 10,000 different advertisers in Europe, and our eCPM has risen by 20% for performance campaigns and what was formerly called the ‘run of network’ campaigns.

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