AdTech is not the same: Top 10 events of the decade

27 January 2020

Digital advertising is at the peak today, but there have been failures in the past. AdExchanger compiled a list of the most important events in the adtech industry

1. Technology race

In the late ‘90s, real-time bidding (RTB) auctions were mostly a dispersal field for advertisers who had no other tools to attract online customers. Only about six years ago, digital specialists began to use premium programmatic features, that is, purchase advertising on premium inventory which made RTB an integral part of advertising campaigns.

2. Fall of the ad nets

The emergence of premium ecosystem has deprived the traditional ad nets of customers. Commodity companies went bankrupt or turned into DSPs and SSPs. The advertising model itself is alive — ad nets feel fine in the app world, where the real-time auctions just start to gain traction. Besides, almost half of programmatic  buying still comes from Google Display Network.

3. Mobile domination

Smartphones quickly gained worldwide popularity, which cannot be said about mobile advertising. Only by 2018, the global spending on mobile and desktop advertising began to match their coverage. Today, in-app advertising has great potential — according to eMarketer forecast, by 2022 the spend of mobile advertising in the US will grow to $ 24.8 billion.

4. Rise of the walled gardens

If there’s a main trend in adtech, which describes the 2010s’ the best, it’s the growth of closed ecosystems — the so-called walled gardens. The world giants Google and Facebook led this movement, which is not surprising. In recent years, more and more independent adtech companies join the struggle against this duopoly.

5. Privacy and the future without cookies

It is already obvious that 2020 will be the end of cookies and cross-site tracking. Ed Snowden’s revelations of Big Data, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and frequent media reports of massive data leaks have led to the fact, that the web privacy is now bothering almost everyone.

6. Digital advertising agencies vs. in-house

Agencies and their clients had never trusted each other much. Today, more and more brands build their own in-house agencies. Having a whole team of creators working on internal projects protects companies from unnecessary expenses and potential conflicts of interest.

7. The first-price auctions

Complex dynamics, lack of transparency and permanent betting race forced the players refuse the so-called second price auctions. In March 2019, these changes have touched even Google. 

8. Adtech union

Advertisers and tech companies could barely deal with each other, so the market consolidation was inevitable. However, such adtech alliances had more to do with desperation.

9. The Trade Desk

In 2016, The Trade Desk went public, and succeeded. TTD offered an easy way to implement the advertising campaigns, and quickly conquered the market. Now the company is getting more than $500 million of net income annually.

10. Data-driven TV

If mobile is called the beginning of a new era, the same can be said about slow, but steady progress in the use of digital technologies in TV advertising. Today’s consumers prefer digital viewing more and more, and get hooked on short clip mentality. Although TV business notices these changes, it’s still too early to talk about the development of data-driven TV. It will most likely rise in the upcoming decade, though.

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