Mike Driscoll: Our key innovation early on was that we developed an in-memory database. It allowed us to scale out our offering and provide to a customer like AOL a way to point-and-click their way through a massive scale of data without having to write code and without having to use the traditional and slower Big Data and intelligence tools out there. Ultimately, the use cases that we’re serving with clients like AOL comes down to visibility. The value proposition for clients is that when they’ve got tremendous amounts of data, just getting operational awareness or understanding which publishers may have been knocked offline, understanding which advertisers have reduced or cut their spend because of software issues, and being able to do root cause analysis is what Metamarkets has facilitated.
I would say there’s a second use case beyond the internal operational awareness use case. Marketplaces thrive on visibility and transparency. Before Metamarkets, a lot of our clients were sharing information about pricing and inventory that was for sale on their exchanges via spreadsheet attachments.
With Metamarkets, they were able to share live, up-to-the-second dashboard views of pricing information, audience data, and really allow advertisers, whether they be agencies of specialized demand-side platforms, to spend money more efficiently. The marketplace visibility that Metamarkets enables with our dashboards translates into marketplace activity. We feel that, ultimately, we’re helping our clients get more spend across their platform and raise their revenues.
Sramana Mitra: Let me get one piece of clarification here. Are you running the marketplace or are you powering the analytics on behalf of your customers from multiple marketplaces?
Mike Driscoll: Metamarkets is strictly an analytics provider. Much like Bloomberg is in the financial services world. We don’t buy ourselves media. We don’t buy data, but we provide a powerful analytical platform for marketplaces to run their own analytics and provide analytics to their buyers and sellers.
Sramana Mitra: Tell me a bit about the signals that you can pick up from using your analytics technology that customers get maximum leverage out of.
Mike Driscoll: It can be things as simple as price. Pricing is the fuel of all marketplaces. The first thing we do when we want to book a plane flight is, we look at the prices. That’s actually not different from the world of media buying. Advertisers want to know what it costs to reach audiences or publishers. With Metamarkets, one of the most powerful signals we’re providing is pricing signal. Because these are real-time marketplaces, Metamarkets allows advertisers to perceive patterns in pricing and find out that, for example, Manhattan iPhones between the hours of 5PM and 10PM on a Tuesday are dropping in price.