Founded in 2001, Index Exchange is one of the oldest adtechs but it’s also one of the newest players to join the Australian market.

An analysis of local publishers’ ads.txt files shows the ad exchange has been widely adopted, despite only entering the Australian market a little over a year ago.

Speaking to Which-50 between sessions at Advertising Week, Adele Wieser, Index’s Australian Country Manager, said the business approached its global expansion in a “conservative and thoughtful fashion.”

Originally called Casale Media, the privately-owned company began to expand its operations outside North America in 2014 after it rebranded as Index Exchange.

Another critical development in its history was developing its own header bidding technology, which informed when Index Exchange would enter new markets.

“We started to make moves when the markets were showing signs of readiness to start playing with header bidding or integrating in that fashion,” Weiser said.

“We don’t do any tag-based integrations with publishers anymore. For Australia, the turning point when we started to make serious investment moves into the market was about 18 months ago when we saw that publishers were starting to adopt header bidding and therefore we knew they were ready to start exploring opportunities with Index.”

“We have taken a conservative approach but in a very measured and strategic fashion to ensure the markets we are playing in are where we are going to succeed and drive the most value for our partners.”

The evolution of header bidding has also made driving adoption easier than it was in the past, Wieser said.

“In the days of exchanges or SSPs past, it was a lot of cloak and dagger, there was preferential, exclusivity, but header bidding has commoditised all that. So as an exchange, we’re a commodity in a publisher’s ad server.”

“We don’t dictate anything, the ad server is the decisioning engine, we don’t clear any auctions, we are really just communicating back to the ad server the price that we can achieve for them throughout our ad exchange,” Wieser said.

The company wants to further expand its ANZ presence. Wieser said the business is committed to the Australian market and helping publishers grow.

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