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Programmatic advertising platform provider PubMatic this week announced the launch of a new API that gives advertisers access to a source of unified ad supply.

Using PubMatic’s new Programmatic Direct (PD) Unified API, PubMatic buy side partners will be able to access unified audience and inventory insights that the company says has “previously been accessible only through time-consuming sales calls, RFPs, and media plans.”

The PD Unified API is launching in two phases. The first phase includes integration with a number of widely used demand side platforms. These demand side platforms give advertisers the ability to conduct business on multiple ad and data exchanges, as well as private marketplaces where publishers offer some of their best inventory to select advertisers. The second phase will enable automated guaranteed ad buys, which allow advertisers to reserve and price inventory in a programmatic fashion on a direct basis with publishers.

According to Sam Cox, a Vice President at MediaMath, one of PubMatic’s demand side platform partners, PubMatic’s new API is going to have a meaningful impact on how advertisers conduct business. ”Although we’ve seen significant progress around the transaction of premium or guaranteed media buys, advertisers are still managing most direct buys manually,” he explained. “PubMatic’s Programmatic Direct Unified API will allow us to add all deal types into our own platform and workflow, improving discoverability, efficiency, and scalability for marketers. This launch represents a necessary shift in the industry and the growing demand for faster and better decision-making across deal types and ad formats.”

According to PubMatic, “[the] Direct Unified API is the next step in the company’s ongoing mission to provide publishers with the ability to package, manage, and control their inventory across channels, screens, and formats, all from a single, easy-to-use platform with robust, real-time analytics and insights.”

The last frontier of programmatic ad buying

PubMatic says that it handles 1.5 trillion ad sales transactions every month, a reflection of the fact that advertisers have embraced platforms that enable them to find and acquire ad inventory in an automated, scalable fashion. But while the online advertising market resembles a stock exchange more and more each year, there will always be a segment of the market in which select advertisers and publishers do business directly. This is especially true as far as premium inventory is concerned.

With new APIs like PubMatic’s PD Unified API, advertisers and publishers will finally gain the ability to automate the remaining ad sales processes that are still manual and time-consuming. As these APIs are adopted, the ad buying process will reach levels of efficiency that would have seemed impossible a decade ago.