It’s not often that you hear about ‘Shaw’ and ‘Rogers’ together – unless of course, it’s about their arch rivalry in Canada’s lucrative broadcasting industry. However, that’s set to change as the three of Canada’s big-gun broadcasters – Rogers, Shaw and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) have decided to join hands to sell digital ads.
The ‘Big Three’ have partnered to create the Canadian Premium Audience Exchange (CPAX) - a private real-time bidding exchange that provides valuable digital inventory from three of Canada’s leading media companies. The objective is to attract advertisers to bid on space across their combined portfolio and leverage cross-site advertising to target specific demographics and deliver superior marketing information.
CPAX will formally launch May 16.
The joint offering will have built-in data mining intelligence to gather information about users who visit any of the companies’ 100-plus websites. Based on the information gathered, CPAX will then suggest prospect customers to advertisers and allow them to bid in a real-time auction to place their ads on whichever articles are opened by the user while visiting any of the websites. The founders claim that the websites (English and French) currently cater to a valuable audience of more than 15 million Canadians.
This unusual alliance has caught most industry observers by surprise. While it’s refreshing to see these arch-rivals join hands, it’s all about business at the end of the day. The move reflects growing pressure on digital advertisers in an intensely competitive market. While CPAX may not be an immediate threat for Google and other online advertising heavyweights, it will be interesting to see how it impacts the overall digital advertising landscape in Canada.
The three companies have set aside any privacy concerns and clarified that CPAX does not use personal customer data.
“CPAX provides a brand safe environment that offers advertisers accurate targeting, transparency, cost efficiency, and massive reach,” said Jason Tafler, Chief Digital Officer, Rogers Media. “With one bid, advertisers can access three distinct organizations’ premium inventory at large scale for best value.”
“This founding partnership of like-minded content providers establishes CPAX as a ‘must-buy’ right out of the gate,” said Paul Burns, Vice President, Digital Media, Shaw. “It’s a turnkey advertising solution that the buying community can trust, and an unprecedented invitation to access premium Canadian audiences online in a more efficient way.”
CPAX is powered by technology developed by AppNexus, a New York-based provider of real-time online advertising.