MediaPost: Legolas’ New Subsidiary, Upfront Digital Media, Intends to Remove “Black Box”

By Tyler Loechner. For every platform claiming to offer full transparency, there is at least one brand clamoring for more information. In response to transparency issues – one of the market’s new hot topics – Legolas Media this morning announced Upfront Digital Media, a new subsidiary of Legolas.

Jonathon Shaevitz, Legolas Media’s CEO, tells RTM Daily that the purpose of Upfront Digital Media is to eliminate the “black box syndrome” from the programmatic direct market. Shaevitz describes the “black box syndrome” as hiding behind the curtains and keeping data too close to the chest. Essentially, being in a black box is equivalent to a company saying, “Don’t worry about what happens behind the curtains, but just trust us. We are smarter than the next guy.”

The new subsidiary is meant to allow advertisers to select an audience, publisher, media type, and device before leaving the rest up to Upfront Digital Media. The company claims that their platform gives brands the same level of transparency that brands would get buying direct from publishers – with the added benefit of the buys being programmatic.

While pointing out that the “real-time bidding market has emerged and exploded,” Shaevitz cautions that more brand dollars won’t come online programmatically unless there is an increased “efficiency of transparency,” without which vendors will be viewed as dishonest. He explains that while full transparency might stop an individual company from making more money short-term, the “black box syndrome” is holding the industry back long-term.

Upfront Digital Media will have it’s own staff, and Shaevitz says that all of Legolas’ New York staff will be part of the new subsidiary, as well as the product team and related overseas staff.

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