What is Premium These Days?

Differentiating publishers or networks for that matter can be a tricky game. In the app game it’s based on algorithms and in the stores, it might be based on rankings. It all depends how segmented you want to go. Generally speaking, the term is loosely thrown around and can mean a lot of different things to different people. 


Apps are ultimately placed in categories of genres and within those categories you have a finite amount of traffic that is generating a more than healthy eCPM based on organic and paid. The question that advertisers who care about their brand positioning want answered is having better visibility and transparency on traffic that is deemed premium. One of the best ways to ensure this is by buying through programmatic methods and it must be known that this will not be a cheap strategy to pursue. It’s a long tail game that with a good creative will ensure that bidding is optimized for the best impressions available in the marketplace. This is what premium really is in a nutshell. The most effective maneuver to ensure that a brand is in their ideal environment is by bidding higher than average and subsequently targeting in incremental amounts. The balance in finding what is premium versus brand safe consequently becomes more important. Both are held in the eye of the beholder. Some premium traffic may not be considered brand safe while non-premium might be considered brand safe. Depending on how much reach an advertiser may want to achieve will depend on whether they are inclined to dip into non-premium traffic for that extra fill.

Premium Inventory

At a granular level, premium inventory is extremely difficult to define if not impossible. At a general level however, it is primarily regarding an experience in which readers or users seek out or are already in a long-term relationship with. For instance, I visit two publishers regularly for news. One for national news and another for international. This has been a deep and ongoing connection for many years.  

When the tables are turned with the advertiser wishing to access premium inventory, they basically mean quality. The alignment of a publishing brand and an advertiser brand is of upmost importance and yields an unquantifiable amount of equity for each. The ability to create a perfect match whereby contextual and relevant publishers yield ads for their target audience is probably the best way to view the order of things. Publishers create the demand and from there they can be deemed ‘premium.’ It can be delineated to a whole other level however and that’s why this question can sometimes not be fully answered for everyone. There are sites like TMZ that are indeed premium however it’s going to be borderline brand safe for everyone.  


It’s not as easy as saying the sites or publishers creating the most demand is premium. Third party rankings rarely tell the whole picture especially if a network or publisher truly fits within the premium bucket. There is so much fake traffic and malicious fraud out there that one really needs to look at the content that a publisher produces to gauge whether they are indeed considered premium. Furthermore, fraudsters might even insert a premium app name into the tracking chain but the impression on that app never actually happened. Todo has put measures in place to counter this type of activity.  

Real people such as an editorial staff need to be on board managing and producing content that audiences really care about. This can be tracked in a number of ways but primarily it’s the new content that is consistently produced that ultimately rules. 


All of advertising will be run by programmatic buys within the near future. As technology advances so will consumer segments for targeting purposes. Targeting is going to be one of the main strategies in programmatic and whitelisting is essential in order to optimize buying responses. Whitelisting can be a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end. The last thing an advertiser wants are a handful of really low-quality sites that are mistakenly deemed premium impacting performance in a detrimental manner. A whitelist provides the security and transparency to advertisers to scale up in their efforts. Blacklisting is also required so that any problematic publishers are blocked from the get go 

In summary, accessing premium quality publishers is not impossible. The strategies that are enabled are essential to creating a multi-faceted approach that takes into account the ever-changing landscape within the online advertising space.  

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