The New York Times To Loosen RTB Restrictions, Expand Programmatic Initiatives

What’s up with The New York Times Co. and programmatic? We’ve pondered that question before (link is external), but the publishing giant declined to speak at the time.

Since then, Times SVP of Ad Products and R&D Michael Zimbalist has revealed to AdExchanger that the company intends to release more inventory cautiously into the RTB space. It also is planning an expansion of non-RTB programmatic initiatives. One such area the Times is considering is developing an audience extension buy.

Much has changed at the Times in recent months.

“We had a change of leadership in our sales department,” Zimbalist said. “Meredith Levien came in to head sales after a long search, and we’ve reorganized the whole department. In doing that, I stepped in and took on, in addition to my role as head of R&D, a new role in the company, which is head of ad products. We never had a formal head of ad products function before.”

As part of this restructuring, the Times has consolidated a number of functions: ad ops, ad systems, product management, some of its custom development work and, of course, programmatic.

Zimbalist spoke with AdExchanger on the changes.

AdExchanger: What elements of programmatic has The New York Times embraced, and what elements has it decided to forego?

Michael Zimbalist: There’s no area of programmatic we’re philosophically opposed to going forward with. Programmatic is now part of an overall practice. We’ve recast our thinking around programmatic as part of a total yield-management practice, which is part of ad products. So it reframed our view in the marketplace to incorporate total yield both in our direct-sold and in our overall market.

That’s the setting. At the present time, we’re leaning into programmatic through our partnership with Google and Google AdX.

Full interview available at (link is external)