What Is Google’s New MCM Product Timeline, and What Does It Means For Our Publishers?

Google has officially announced that 31st January 2022, its new Multiple Customer Management (MCM) will replace the popular Scaled Partner Management (SPM) program. While this will provide numerous exciting benefits, it has also created a good deal of uncertainty amongst publishers – especially as Google has recently revised its previous timeline for the transition.

In this article, we provide clarity on the situation – providing the new timeline in full, as well as explaining how MCM works and how publishers can prepare to ensure they do not lose any revenue.

What is Scaled Partner Management? 

Google Ad Exchange (AdX) is a highly popular premium ad exchange: it generally serves better quality ads and produces higher CPMs for publishers than Google AdSense or similar plug-and-play networks. However, publishers have to meet very specific eligibility requirements to use it – and most small and medium sized publishers do not meet these criteria. 

The Scaled Partner Management (SPM) program was designed to enable small and medium-sized publishers to use the AdX account of a bigger publisher or channel partner. This allowed them to gain the benefits of AdX and more effectively monetize their inventory.

However, when the SPM program was created, AdX and Google Ad Manager were very different propositions. Since then, the two have merged into a single product. So Google has decided to build a solution similar to SPM but based on the new Google Ad Manager system – it’s called Multiple Customer Management (MCM).

How does Multiple Customer Management work?

In MCM, there are two ‘delegation’ types: 

Manage Account

In the Manage Account delegation, the child publisher can only be managed by one parent publisher. That parent publisher gains access to the child publisher’s account – except for their billing information. With that information, the parent manages all inventory in the child’s account – ultimately helping them better monetize it.

With this delegation, child publishers use their own Ad Manager tags and actions are limited to the features available in the child account. Ultimately, this delegation is primarily designed for publishers who have a relationship with a single channel partner that manages their account.

Manage Inventory

In the Manage Inventory delegation, the parent publisher has inventory delegated to them by the child publisher to monetize on the child’s behalf. The parent does not have access to the child’s account, and the child can have up to 15 parents managing their inventory at any given time. 

With this delegation, the child publishers can use the parent’s Ad Manager tags and all delegated ad requests are managed from within the parent’s account. It is a more direct replacement of the SPM program, but with more transparency and a host of additional features.

What are the Benefits of Multiple Customer Management?

With SPM, there was little clarity on the authorization level of the selected partnership. And because SPM was initially using the DoubleClick for Publisher (DFP), it wasn’t able to support all of the features Google Ad Manager has to offer.

MCM is intended to simplify the Google Ad Manager experience and provide transparency for all users; it also grants publishers access to powerful new monetization features like Open Bidding and Programmatic Direct.

Besides the fact that the publisher gains access to Google Ad Exchange demand, which is a premium, high CPM demand exchange, MCM can support several GAM features that will drive even better results for a child publisher. These include:

  • Access to additional demand coming from Open Bidding 
  • Programmatic Direct deals 
  • Programmatic Guaranteed deals 
  • Programmatic Preferred deals 

Ultimately, the transition to MCM will ensure small and medium publishers retain all the benefits they have seen using SPM, but gain greater visibility to understand what’s going on behind the scenes, as well as enabling them to test which MCM partners are working best and which could be replaced.

When will MCM come into effect?

To give publishers time to prepare for this change, Google has instituted a transition period during which they can use both SPM and MCM.The initial deadline for the migration was September 30th, however, earlier this week Google announced that SPM will be officially turned off on 31st January 2022.

During the transition period, SPM can be used along with MCM, however, the parent publishers will not be able to add any new SPM partners. All new child publishers should be invited to MCM directly.

In order to avoid experiencing revenue loss, child publishers should work closely with their parent publishers to migrate successfully to MCM in accordance with Google’s timeline.

There are two different timelines, depending on whether the child publisher currently uses a Linked account to link their Ad Manager account to the parent’s Ad Exchange account. 

Below is a list of the key dates for both, as well as what action must be taken:

What does this mean for publishers?

Any publisher that is still relying on it will stop receiving serving ads from AdX on February 1st 2022. Those that wish to avoid revenue loss must therefore find a trusted MCM partner like Project Agora that can help them make a smooth transition to the new solution. 

If you currently work with a partner publisher through an SPM program, communicate with your partner and get a status update on their MCM migration. If your partner is an eligible MCM partner, you must accept the MCM invitation sent from your parent publisher – this will give the parent publisher permissions to monetize and manage their inventory through the MCM program. 

However, it is possible your current partner publisher will not be accepted into the MCM program – in which case you will need to switch to a new MCM partner. As the deadline fast approaches, it will be vital to find a partner that can provide the support and expertise to make your transition as fast and frictionless as possible.

How can Project Agora support you ? 

As a qualified MCM partner, Project Agora is able to help all of our existing partners make the transition to MCM smooth and simple. We can also help any publishers that have found themselves without a qualified partner, providing a dedicated team of experts who can provide guidance to ensure you successfully migrate in time to avoid any revenue losses. 

If you have any questions about the migration process or want to understand more about how Project Agora can help,get in touch today