Blockthrough builds server-side ad exchange using Relay’s APIs

Blockthrough’s ad exchange enabled them to scale demand without taxing user experience and unlock incremental revenue.


Increase in incremental revenue


Increase in fill rate


Integrated SSPs

What Blockthrough Wanted

Blockthrough is the market leader in ad block revenue recovery, helping the world’s largest media brands recover the revenue they lose due to ad blocking -- without annoying their users. With Blockthrough, publishers can generate incremental revenue by serving a lighter ad experience compliant with the Acceptable Ads Standard to opted-in adblock users. They do this by recovering publishers' demand while supplementing it with their own to increase revenue per thousand impressions.

As Blockthrough scaled their offerings and added demand partners, their client-side setup caused major growing pains. Adding demand partners grew their revenue and value to publishers, but taxed page load and user experience. Every time Blockthrough changed their configuration or added a new partner, they had to make manual updates to each publisher.

Blockthrough knew they needed to build their own ad exchange, but other managed service vendors owned the entire programmatic tech stack. Choosing one of these managed service vendors would leave Blockthrough with minimal transparency, limited control, and highly manual workflows for adding new supply.

Instead, Blockthrough used Kevel Relay to build a custom server-side ad exchange that bids into publishers via a prebid.js adapter. Within months Blockthrough was able to build a server-side ad exchange and deploy a new auction model. This rapid development increased fill rate across five SSPs by 12% while boosting incremental revenue by 10% all while reducing latency and simplifying workflows.

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Blockthrough boosts fill rate and incremental revenue

Without the limitations of a client-side solution, Blockthrough can now easily scale demand partner integrations. Blockthrough was easily able to integrate with five supply-side platforms (SSPs). The increased number of partners has improved Blockthrough’s fill rate by 12% and revenue for its publishing clients by 10%.

Blockthrough expects these numbers to increase as they continue to onboard more SSPs into the ecosystem.

This improvement has been so impactful for our publisher clients because our stack competes directly with theirs, driving increased performance from their existing demand sources as well.

— Graham Michels, Head of Strategy, Blockthrough

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Blockthrough scales without additional latency

Blockthrough needed to increase the number of demand partners connected to their stack without burdening publisher clients' pages. In their prior client-side setup, adding additional demand partners meant more outbound calls per ad unit, which negatively impacted latency and user experience. Relay’s infrastructure only requires a single API call to their server, which is optimized for fast responses to auctions and requests, meaning you can scale without suffering additional latency.

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Blockthrough simplifies their workload

Prior to Relay, adding demand partners or publishers was a manual process requiring publisher-by-publisher updates as new demand partners were added, or configurations were changed. With Relay, Blockthrough can easily bid inside publishers by adding one line of code to their existing prebid.js implementation.

This unified workflow across all clients simplified new publisher onboarding, and reduced time costs for Blockthrough.

In leveraging Kevel's Relay product, we now have a medium to sustainably increase demand sources for our publishers--driving incremental revenue without added latency and operational overhead. — Rikki Decker, Head of Partnerships, Blockthrough

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