Will small publishers be hurt by whitelisting?


TL;DR: In an effort to make sure their ads don’t show up on unsavory websites, Chase is now only buying ads on sites they have whitelisted. So far this has not impacted their ad rates, reach or other metrics.

So what does this mean for small publishers that aren’t big enough to get on the whitelist?


This is a very interesting read! One that helps to shed light on how quickly our industry is transforming.

At sovrn, we constantly strive to remember that there is a crucial difference between the ‘long-tail’ of the internet and the ‘shady corners’ of the internet. There are millions of sites with great content and readership all over the world that will always attract buyers regardless of size. These are sites focused on enhancing the whole of the web with information that enriches the expertise of real audiences.

As many of us have been reading about over the past few months, sites full of malicious content and fraudulent traffic activity are starting to raise red flags for major buyers industry wide. As more of these buyers ‘blacklist’ this kind of inventory, such activity will be more difficult to capitalize on, opening more spend for smaller sites and helping to wash the internet of the trash.

Although the focus may begin with larger publishers, the goal of overall spend will not change. Buyers and advertisers will always be looking for strong readership accessing real content.

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This recent ExchangeWire article by our CMO Andy Evans lays out the issues with whitelisting. “By restricting media buys to the sites on a pre-approved whitelist, advertisers could miss high-value placements on the best websites they’ve never heard of.” This is why Sovrn continues to champion the unique value of independent publishers and their highly engaged audiences.

And it’s also why we put so much emphasis on trust and safety. “By focusing instead on partnering with vendors and exchanges committed to quality initiatives,” Andy Evans continues, “and that adhere to stringent industry standards, buyers can ensure their ads are served in the right place, at the right time, and reach the right people.”