There's a really good article over at Adlingo that you creatives should take a gander at. Media buyers, and certainly digital media buyers, may already be aware of the fragmentation of the market but most people are not, which is why the article "There's no such thing as $10/cpm preroll" is required reading. The author, "Jim", says that he is shocked how little media buyers actually know about the media transaction "funnel", so this may be eye-opening for everyone.
I know we all roll our eyes anytime someone quotes the Lumascape, but think about it. Look at the number of vendors it contains. They're all there for a reason...they make money.
At the end of the transaction, the publisher gets paid, but not before all the vendors get their cut of the action.
Yes, working publisher direct means that more of your dollars actually get to the publisher, and should mean that you are running in a higher quality environment. However, in doing so, you sacrifice things like audience targeting and segmentation.
To be clear, I am not suggesting to abandon programatic and go publisher direct with all your ad dollars. Quite the contrary.
Instead, media buyers need to dig in. You need to understand where ever single penny of your media spend ultimately ends up. Question it, and then question it again. Compare DSP's and exchanges. Demand transparency on all costs and fees.
I'm bolding Jim's point there, as I totally agree and have been saying the same for years. These vendors are skimming off your media budget, you need to make sure that every cent goes to a real persons click or eyeball and your campaign appears where it is best suited. The helpful targeting vendors should actually be helpful in all of this. and if they are not, steer your money elsewhere. Or as Jim says, trim the fat. "Ultimately, the more money that reaches the publisher, the better quality your campaign will receive." - not only that as we have seen throwing a pittance of a cent to those who create the content results in bad content and clickbait, I hope we can rise above all that.