Pubfinity, a burgeoning advertising network that serves premium ads on top-rated Windows PC games and apps, was looking to grow its business and needed the right partner to do it. In just over a year, Epsilon's publisher solutions were able to significantly boost this scrappy start-up's advertising revenue.
"Epsilon believed in us enough to do one of our first direct integrations, which we both ultimately benefitted from," said Sam Kaufmann, CEO & Founder of Pubfinity. "The partnership gave us access to great unique advertiser demand and helped us establish credibility in the market."
Rising to the challenge
Sam Kaufmann has been involved with game development for more than a decade. As the co-founder of the publisher Random Salad Games, he’s designed and launched new games as well as versions of classic games like Solitaire for the Windows desktop app platform.
Microsoft announced in 2020 that they would shutter the Windows Ad Monetization Platform. Thousands of publishers (including Sam) relied on this to monetize their Windows games and apps. Sam saw an opportunity to build a new monetization platform to help developers like him maximize advertising revenue, which became Pubfinity.
Only problem? This niche inventory wasn’t drawing enough demand and they needed partners who could help bolster monetization on their platform and build a future-proof strategy that didn’t rely on third-party cookies.
“The biggest thing we were looking for was unique demand that we had control over,” Sam said. “The nature of our initial advertising partner integrations led to duplicate supply paths resulting in the big ad tech black boxes doing crazy things like inadvertently optimizing around our inventory. The biggest thing we were looking for was unique demand that we had control over. Epsilon provided just that — unique demand and direct advertiser engagement.”
A winning solution
Sam initially reached out to several demand side platforms (DSP’s) but most turned him away. With niche inventory, it was hard for most DSP’s to understand the Windows desktop app environment and the value of this audience. These DSP’s missed a large opportunity as the games on the Pubfinity platform attract a diverse audience and are played by millions of highly engaged users.
Pubfinity joined Epsilon's Core Private Exchange and leveraged SharedID (formerly known as Publisher CommonID). Epsilon was able to compete for their display ad inventory across various Windows desktop applications, even when third party cookies were not present.
With Epsilon as a demand partner, several high-quality and internationally-recognized advertisers began accessing Pubfinity’s ad inventory. With a highly engaged audience, Pubfinity found that having recognized brands that speak to the consumer increased the overall user experience.
“If you engage with a partner whose ads are clickbait-y, our users are not shy, and we’re going to get a lot of feedback,” Andre Sevigny (Pubfinity’s Chief Revenue Officer) said. “We need to make sure there are good, clean, quality ads coming into these games and so far, we’ve been extremely pleased with the ads from Epsilon. We haven’t had a single complaint.”
A victorious strategy
By launching demand from Epsilon’s Core Private Exchange along with the SharedID first-party identifier, Epsilon was able to help Pubfinity monetize millions of ad impressions. This success strengthened Pubfinity’s bottom line and has attracted some of the world’s largest game publishers to utilize their monetization service.
- In six months with Epsilon, they saw a 25% increase in CPE spend through SharedID (formerly Publisher CommonID),
- 180 Epsilon and Publicis Groupe ran in 30 days,
- And 80+ Pubfinity applications are using Epsilon demand.
And this is just the beginning: Going forward, Epsilon and Pubfinity plan to monetize additional gaming titles produced and supported by Pubfinity and adopt other advertising solutions such as Epsilon’s authenticated traffic identity solution, Publisher Link.
What’s most important, though, is knowing a small start-up with big dreams was able to fill a gap in a niche market with a partner who was there for them when others said no.
“When we first started approaching other DSPs [demand side platforms], they acted a bit too cool for school because our inventory is unique,” Sam said. “Our inventory is unique, but that doesn’t always mean it’s not worth the effort. Epsilon believed in us enough to do one of our first direct integrations, which we both ultimately benefitted from. The partnership gave us access to great unique advertiser demand and helped us establish credibility in the market.”