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Announcements, Tech

Save Your Ad Revenue and Switch to Google MCM—ASAP

By Kristen Dunleavy

The ad tech industry is always evolving. Recently, Google announced a big change that directly impacts publishers’ advertising strategies: they will deprecate SPM (Scaled Partner Management) and migrate to MCM (Multiple Customer Management).

OpenWeb’s partners should know that OpenWeb is a Google MCM certified partner.

The transition has already begun, and publishers using SPM must switch over to MCM as soon as possible. Here’s everything you need to know about the change, and what you can do to prepare for it.

What’s the difference between SPM and MCM?

Google SPM allows small to medium-sized publishers (“child publishers”) to access Google Ad Exchange through larger publishers or a channel partner (“parent publishers”). SPM helps child publishers connect with a larger pool of advertisers to increase demand in their ad inventory, ultimately leading to more ad revenue.

While all of that is great, SPM had a number of issues. It was difficult for Google to add new features to SPM to meet publishers’ needs. It also lacked both transparency and the functionality to manage publisher permissions.

So, Google will replace SPM with MCM to improve transparency and authorization levels to allow for better data privacy and security. Now, with MCM, child publishers can fully control what type of access their third-party partners have.

But that’s not all: MCM has more benefits than SPM.  In MCM, child publishers will not only be able to access Google Ad Exchange, they can access demand from other ad exchanges via Open Bidding. Additionally, they can take advantage of programmatic direct deals, preferred deals, and programmatic guaranteed deals—none of which is possible through SPM.

When exactly is all of this happening?

It depends on your account type, but these are the important dates for transitioning to MCM:

  • August 1st: For child publishers linked to a parent publisher’s Ad Exchange account should know that no new child publishers can be added to SPM beginning on August 1st.
  • September 30th: SPM will be turned off for child publishers who are not linked to a parent through Linked accounts.

Publishers should note that during the transition period, SPM can run alongside MCM, so that all of your existing ad campaigns will continue.

What exactly is happening?

Once a publisher authorizes another company to use their ad unit, it must be registered through Google. This is why the child publisher receives the MCM form from the parent publisher. Once that’s done, Google has the identity of both of the companies collaborating through their platform:

  • Child Publisher – Example (Network ID 1234).
  • Parent Publisher (Manage Inventory delegation type) – OpenWeb (Example Network ID 1234567).

The parent publisher must change the ad unit he uses, and declare the connection:

When the ad unit uploads, Google can see if this is an authorized connection:

  • Approved – The parent publisher can run their ads on the property of the child publisher.
  • Not Approved – The parent publisher can’t run any ads, including direct campaigns, OB, and even house ads. The placement will stay blank.

Does this affect my GAM activity or any other activity?

Once you approve the MCM form, it’s only applied to the above connection. It doesn’t mean the parent publisher has actual access to your account or something similar to that. Just your authorization to run our ads on the agreed placements.

How do I switch to MCM?

Timing is crucial: publishers need to switch to MCM ASAP, or risk being demonetized. To do that, publishers should contact their MCM partner as soon as possible since the transition must be approved by Google and the process typically takes two weeks. Once Google approves, the implementation is simple, with a short code adjustment to your Google Publisher tag.

Action required: switch to MCM today

Making the switch to MCM is crucial to avoid interruptions in your ad campaigns and demonetization. And with greater transparency, improved reporting, and access to demand beyond Ad Exchange, publishers stand to see more lucrative ad strategies with MCM. 

The bottom line? The sooner you switch to MCM, the better.

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