SCMP departs from the open marketplace and discontinues all biddable media in Asia from January 2021

December 14, 2020
SCMP Updates
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) will remove all its inventory from the Open Marketplace (OMP) in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines on January 1st 2021, connecting their market-leading first-party data and persistent user IDs to programmatic deals (preferred deals & programmatic guaranteed) in order to help drive efficiencies and return on investment for buyers.

The open marketplace (OMP) represents a series of growing concerns for advertisers and publishers. From brand safety to data privacy and the upcoming deprecation of user IDs (third-party cookies and the IDFA), it is becoming more challenging than ever to create efficiencies that drive success.

“We are committed to provide the best possible results for our clients and that means being able to offer transparent buying models, optimised for your needs. Agnostic buying channels to enable supply path optimization (SPO) and access to persistent user IDs that work across all platforms with granular first-party data so that we can optimize your campaign to any KPI,” said Ian Hocking, VP of Digital at SCMP.

“We continue to believe in programmatic buying and see deals as a better way to ensure brand safety and increase performance. As we expand our presence throughout Asia, SCMP is hiring a team of programmatic experts in Singapore and Hong Kong to help our partners make the switch to programmatic deals.”

“We’re excited to offer the highest level of service to our clients whether it is our new real-time self-service dashboards that monitor campaign performance, or having a team of experts to help troubleshoot and educate the industry. We believe that focusing on deals will ultimately help to drive ROI for our clients.”

Once the OMP is shut off in Asia, buyers will no longer be able to access SCMPs inventory. In order to maintain access to SCMPs audience, it is imperative that buyers set up deals as soon as possible.

SCMP launched Asia's first publisher insight and activation platform ‘SCMP Lighthouse’ in June 2020. With it, SCMP is able to offer clients, brands and agencies a unified persistent ID for more than 80% of its users and more than 2,000 targetable attributes that may be combined into scaled audiences.

The Post also launched SCMP Signal, a proprietary brand safety and suitability tool earlier this year. Built directly into the CMS it instantly allows SCMP to ensure brand safety across the site whilst analysing all content for context, sentiment, readability and keywords.

A better way to transact programmatic media 

SCMP believes that programmatic deals offer brands and buyers a better way to transact programmatic media.

The UK’s ISBA & PWC found this year that 15% of a media cost is ‘lost’ in the supply chain of programmatic. But Dr. Augustine Fou contends that up to 50% of spend is lost in the supply path with even more gone to Ad Fraud. Building direct relationships with publishers will help to significantly reduce this wastage - meaning more advertising dollars is available to drive ROI.

There will be another significant reduction in OMP efficiencies for buyers when the third-party cookie is deprecated and access to Apple's IDFA restricted next year. The ID not only helps to identify a user across domains but also is the central mechanism that allows buyers to apply data sets, build retargeting pools and  apply frequency caps. Losing this ID fundamentally changes the effectiveness of the OMP.

More than the data or the frequency capping, relationship persistence will fundamentally be the core to long term success. Knowing who users are and where they are in the marketing funnel is paramount to the ability to accurately assess performance and drive ROI. When the third-party cookie goes, so will this knowledge in the OMP. Building these relationships with publishers now will help to safeguard one’sposition in a year’s time.

Buying in deals also translates to a number of other efficiencies and benefits for buyers. Traditional OMP buying sits at the bottom of the ad stack. Meaning anywhere from 40-80% of the total audience reach is not available as they are picked off by direct campaigns. Moving to deals provides Ad Server priority and access to the potential. Preferred deals and Programmatic Guaranteed deals are also more reliable in terms of scale and delivery than the OMP (or even PMPs) with higher win rates.
About South China Morning Post

The South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States. SCMP's vision is to “Elevate Thought” and our mission is to “Lead the global conversation about China”. Additionally, SCMP publishes a portfolio of premium lifestyle and fashion titles in Hong Kong including CosmopolitanELLEEsquire and Harper's BAZAAR. SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world; and Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China. In 2020, SCMP became the first news organisation in Asia to join the Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.