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Buy-it-now or Take-a-chance: A New Pricing Mechanism for Online Advertising

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Author Info

  • Markus Mobius

    (Microsoft Research)

  • Hamid Nazerzadeh

    (University of Southern California)

  • Gregory Lewis

    (Harvard University)

  • Elisa Celis

    (University of Washington)

Abstract

Increasingly sophisticated tracking technology oers publishers the ability to oer targeted advertisements to advertisers. Such targeting enhances advertising efficiency by improving the match quality between advertisers and users, but also thins the market of interested advertisers. Using bidding data from Microsoft's Ad Exchange (AdECN) platform, we show that there is often a substantial gap between the highest and second highest willingness to pay. This motivates our new BIN-TAC mechanism, which is effective in extracting revenue when such a gap exists. Bidders can "buy-it-now", or alternatively take-a-chance" in an auction, where the top d > 1 bidders are equally likely to win. The randomized take-a-chance allocation incentivizes high valuation bidders to buy-it-now. We show that for a large class of distributions, this mechanism achieves similar allocations and revenues as Myerson's optimal mechanism, and outperforms the second-price auction with reserve. For the AdECN data, we use structural methods to estimate counterfactual revenues, and find that our BIN-TAC mechanism improves revenue by 11% relative to an optimal second-price auction.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 443.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:443

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  1. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Bonatti, 2010. "Targeting in Advertising Markets: Implications for Offline vs. Online Media," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1758R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2010.
  2. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
  3. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger & Svaiter, Benar Fux, 2010. "Optimal auction with a general distribution: Virtual valuation without densities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 21-31, January.
  4. Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 1997. "Sequential screening," Economics Working Papers 224, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Ostrovsky, Michael & Schwarz, Michael, 2009. "Reserve Prices in Internet Advertising Auctions: A Field Experiment," Research Papers 2054, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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