Harnessing supply for Amazon DSP: an interview with Ken Leeder

July 1, 2020

Ken Leeder is the General Manager for Amazon Publisher Services and also oversees Amazon Ads’s relationships with third-party exchanges.

What is Amazon Publisher Services (APS)?

We started APS in 2016 in order to build upon our header bidding roots (dating back to 2012) and expand the breadth of services we provide to our publisher customers. Since then, we’ve seen high adoption and excitement from the world’s leading publishers; in Advertiser Perceptions’ H1 2020 SSP report, publishers ranked Amazon Publisher Services (APS) #2 across nearly every category. Unlike traditional SSPs, we do not charge our publisher customers a share of the revenue they earn through us, which means that any demand flowing through our server-side integrations—including Amazon DSP as well as 30+ demand partners—is passed directly to the publisher, putting more of the advertiser’s dollars to work.

What about advertisers? How can advertisers benefit by buying through APS?

More than ever, advertisers are looking for clarity in an opaque media supply chain full of middlemen and fees; they can achieve that clarity by buying APS supply through Amazon DSP. We also maintain a high-bar for our onboarding process, and strive to work with only the best-performing and highest-quality. When you compare metrics for the publishers we’ve integrated, we see better viewability, lower CPMs (cost per thousand imperssions) and higher ROAS (return on ad spend) on APS than other third-party exchanges.

How does Amazon DSP work with third-party exchanges?

Providing advertisers a direct path to publishers via APS is important, but so is providing trustworthy, scaled third-party exchange integrations. Today, we have integrations with a highly vetted list of 30+ SSPs. They have all been tested for traffic quality, incremental reach, and performance, and also offer access to international supply and nonstandard ad formats. We understand that publishers have many diverse access points to their inventory, and so we believe it’s important to provide our advertisers optionality to activate their own supply strategies as they see fit. Our third-party exchange partners are a core part of the supply offering for Amazon DSP.

Amazon DSP provides access to Amazon owned-and-operated inventory as well. What is the interplay between Amazon O&O and third-party supply?

Having exclusive access to Amazon’s owned-and-operated inventory is one of the key advantages for advertisers who use Amazon DSP. Whether it’s through performance or brand awareness campaigns, Amazon supply provides a valuable path for advertisers to reach Amazon audiences and achieve their goals. However, reaching Amazon audiences on third-party publisher sites can be just as important to achieving campaign objectives. The combination of APS publishers and third-party exchanges provides the global reach and critical mass of impression opportunities to impact customers’ path to purchase.

What are your near-term priorities for third-party web and app supply on Amazon DSP that might help advertisers and agencies? What are you most excited about?

APS will be increasing access to highly viewable online video placements as well as further expanding our deals (PMP, preferred deals) capabilities. We have invested heavily in product and engineering teams to continue optimizing performance for advertisers across APS and third-party exchanges.