Google Ad Manager

What is Multiple Customer Management? Why is it Replacing Scaled Partner Management?

In July 2021, Google will replace its Scaled Partner Management (SPM) offering with Multiple Customer Management (MCM). 

The ad tech industry is a volatile space and subject to constant changes. A lot of developments in the industry are occurring to get onboard with the privacy-focused tide. Naturally, Google wants to make sure that its offerings align with the changing nature of the digital advertising landscape.

Google’s decision to replace SPM with MCM has been carried out in the same spirit – to make the process more transparent and secure for publishers.

In this blog, we aim to discuss everything related to this new development-

  • What is SPM
  • What is MCM
  • Why is MCM replacing SPM

and all the other tidbits that publishers need to know at this point.

So, let’s start with SPM.

What is Scaled Partner Management?

Everyone knows that Google Ad Exchange demand is the best that there is. However, not every publisher can access it on their own. To be eligible for accessing Google AdX, a publisher needs to have 5 million monthly pageviews and a Google Ad Manager account.

Therefore, it is almost impossible for small and mid-sized publishers to access AdX on their own. But they can leverage the same through Google’s SPM program.

Google’s SPM program enables publishers (known as the Child publisher) to access Google AdX through channel partners and large partners (known as the SPM partner or Parent Publisher).

This is how it works – the small publisher, aka the child publisher, can use the AdX account of the large publisher/channel partner, aka the parent publisher, and access Google AdX. The child publisher can open up their inventories to a vast number of advertisers, in turn increasing the value of their inventory. 

Another thing to note here is that the SPM partner can operate and manage the child publisher’s inventory on their behalf. This means that the publisher further gets the benefit of ad optimization and enhanced yield management. 

Multiple Customer Management

The beta version of Google MCM was made available for a select few GAM 360 users in August 2020. This was done per Google’s decision to eventually replace SPM with MCM in the coming year, i.e., July 2021. 

Why is MCM taking SPM’s place?

But why exactly is MCM replacing SPM? The key focus here is on enhancing the transparency of the partnership between publishers and SPM partners. With the introduction of MCM, Google has attributed improved clarity regarding the authorization level of the partnership between child and parent publishers. All in all, this initiative aims to facilitate a more transparent and efficient environment for both the parties involved in the partnership. 

What is MCM?

The idea here is the same – just like SPM, MCM facilitates Google AdX access for small and medium-sized publishers via large publishers and channel partners. Also, the parent publisher can manage and control the child publisher’s ad inventory on their behalf.

The primary thing that has changed here is the introduction of delegation types for defining the authorization level of the child and parent publishers in a better way. 

The two delegation types are Manage Account and Manage Inventory. The parent publisher invites the child publisher; however, other specifications are different for different delegations.   

MCM’s Delegation Types

Manage Account

  • The parent publisher manages all the websites that come under the child publisher’s account. 
  • Both the parties decide upon the revenue share (range from 0% to 100%). And, the agreed price is applied to all accounts of the child-parent managed by the parent publisher. 
  • Google sends the agreed-upon payment to both the child and parent publishers through auto-payment. 
  • A child publisher can have one parent publisher to manage their accounts. 
  • The parent publisher gets access to the account of the child publisher. 
  • The child publisher uses their own GAM tags. 

Managed Inventory

  • The parent publisher manages the inventory that the child publisher delegates. The former is responsible for monetizing the delegated inventory. 
  • The parent publisher is only responsible for managing the specific inventory that the child publisher has delegated.
  • Google pays the parent publisher, and the child publisher receives payment from the parent publisher. 
  • A child publisher can have up to 15 parent publishers to manage their inventory. 
  • The parent publisher cannot access the child publisher’s account.
  • Child publishers have to use the parent publisher’s GAM tags. 

Now, which type of delegation should you choose? That decision lies with you and has to be carried out by taking into account all your needs. Parameters will vary for each of the delegation types. You just need to see what kind of MCM partner will bring you the most value. 

Advantages of MCM

We have already talked about how Google’s MCM will foster a more transparent and efficient publisher environment. But the advantages don’t just stop there. 

On the one hand, with SPM, publishers currently get access to Google AdX; with Google’s MCM, they will also be able to access Open Bidding, which means additional demand. Furthermore, MCM also supports Preferred deals, Programmatic Direct deals, and Programmatic Guaranteed deals

Multiple Customer Management vs. Scaled Partner Management

FeaturesGoogle MCMGoogle SPM
Google AdX access
Access to Open Bidding
Programmatic Direct and Guaranteed support
Preferred deals support
MCM vs. SPM

AdPushup’s Transition to MCM

Much like a lot of channel partners who will be part of the MCM program, AdPushup was also part of MCM’s beta testing. 

This is what Abhinav Choudhri, Director of Ad Operations at AdPushup, has to say about how we are handling this latest development:

We are beginning with the transition from SPM to MCM by sending out invitations to publishers for MCM. The change is imperative for channel partners like us since SPM will soon be replaced. There are some technical changes that we will have to undertake regarding tagging purposes. But, apart from this, we anticipate no major challenges during the transitional phase. 

This being said, we also work with publishers who do not have a GAM as of now and are leveraging AdSense. They will login into one now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google MCM available to all SPM partners?

No. Not every SPM partner can get access to the MCM program. The qualifications for the new MCM program are different.

How do I get access to Google MCM?

You will first need to know if your SPM partner has been accepted into the MCM program. If yes, the SPM partner or MCM partner will send you the invitation. You just need to accept the invitation, and your MCM partner can then start managing your inventories.

What if my SPM partner doesn’t get approved for the MCM program?

If your current partner didn’t get approved for the MCM program, you might need to find other channel partners who have ideally been part of the MCM beta run (like AdPushup). The same goes for the situation where you are currently not in partnership with an SPM partner.

Is the MCM program better than the SPM program?

Yes. Even if your current SPM partner has more permissions, you can have significantly better demand by being a part of the MCM program. We have already talked about the fact that the MCM program will be better in terms of transparency, ad revenue generation, and effectiveness.
For best results, you should partner with a Google Certified Publishing Partner, like AdPushup.


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