Magnite’s direct-buy ad product garners support from streaming TV media, agencies

Sell-side ad company Magnite this week touted broad support from a variety of streaming TV media companies and ad agencies for its recently launched ClearLine product, a buyer-direct ad offering with an emphasis on connected TV.

ClearLine launched in April and is an ad server-agnostic product that provides agencies with direct access to premium video inventory on Magnite’s platforms, meaning agencies can buy video inventory directly from Magnite.

In a statement, Sean Buckley, chief revenue officer at Magnite, cited positive levels of interest since launch.

“Following our recent launch of ClearLine, we’ve been encouraged by the level of interest and adoption across the industry,” Buckley stated. “While the underlying technology is critical, Magnite’s unparalleled relationships with the largest media owners in premium video are what differentiates ClearLine and make this offering so unique.”

Pointing to those relationships, agencies can tap ClearLine to buy inventory from suppliers including A&E Networks, AMC Networks, DirecTV Advertising, Dish Media, Disney Advertising, Fox Digital and Warner Bros. Discovery. That’s in addition to Magnite’s launch partners of LG Ad Solutions and Vizio.

According to the vendor, Magnite’s supply footprint covers more than 80 million CTV households in the U.S., accounting for 90% of ad-supported CTV viewers in the country.

GroupM, Camelot and MiQ were among launch partners for ClearLine, and now more ad agencies have come on board, including GSD&M, Horizon Media, and Stagwell Brand X Performance Network.

Matt Jamison, head of Ad Sales Partnerships at DIRECTV Advertising, in a statement pointed to ClearLine as helping the ad buying process become more seamless amid a fragmented ecosystem.

“The streaming TV ecosystem is notoriously fragmented which can be challenging for both media owners and advertisers. ClearLine is an opportunity to help address that fragmentation and increase collaboration by creating a more frictionless track between buyers and sellers,” said Jamison. “This is a positive outcome for all parties and we look forward to working closely with Magnite to make this a reality.”

Horizon Media’s Alexander Stone, meanwhile, indicated it will help push more dollars toward premium video, with better return on spend.

“The buying efficiency that ClearLine offers coupled with Magnite’s expansive streaming video footprint across premium publishers directs more dollars to high quality working media. This ultimately helps our clients get more from their ad spend,” said Stone, SVP of Advanced Video & Agency Partnerships at Horizon Media.

ClearLine also gained support internationally, including from Australian broadcast and streaming company Nine, and Omnicom Media Group Germany.

As AdExchange noted, by giving agencies the option to buy video inventory direct, buyers can lower fees using only an SSP (sell-side platform) without the need to deal with DSPs (demand-side platform).

Speaking to AdExchange in April related to the ClearLine launch, GroupM’s Andrew Meaden, global head of investment, explained additional benefits of directly connecting buyers to publishers including increased transparency, lowered risk of ad fraud, priority access to inventory and decreased technology costs.

While Magnite is staked in the SSP side, Meaden told the publication that GroupM’s aim “is not to remove the DSPs from the programmatic equation” but instead to offer more buying options that fit clients’ needs.

In announcing the product earlier this year, Magnite’s Buckley said DSPs would remain the primary method for agencies to access premium video inventory on Magnite’s platforms, but that agencies had been requesting a more direct connection in certain situations.

“ClearLine delivers agencies that additional path into our ecosystem while also benefiting media owners,” Buckley said in April. “In the end, both agencies and sellers want options that put more media dollars to work and offer greater flexibility around data enablement and sharing.” 

In June 2022, Magnite snagged a multi-year deal with LG Ad Solutions that made it the company’s preferred ad server and SSP, while also granting Magnite access to LG’s audience-level ACR data from opted-in smart TVs in the U.S.

Article updated to clarify ClearLine is an ad product and offering, rather than platform.