2019 was the year when the interest for self-service advertising exploded, and we’ve seen it become a priority for publishers like Hearst, TripAdvisor, Comcast, and Bloomberg Media. We are excited about 2020, and all the buzz we’re seeing in markets like OTT, TV, Travel, and Shopping. We’re experiencing great interest from those sectors and we’re investing time and resources developing new software integrations to manage the demand.
One thing we already now can share with you is our latest video integration with Hearst Magazine, where Hearst advertisers can book video pre-rolls on magazines or Youtube, targeting their own first-party audiences or using Hearst’s first-party audience. This is only one of many custom features we are working on together with publishers, so they can move more ad operation into Self-Service.
It will have escaped no one in the industry that the approaching death of 3rd party cookies is stirring discussions. 3rd party cookies are already removed from Safari and Mozilla, and Google/Chrome now say they’ll phase it out during the coming two years. Why did this happen and how will the industry of digital advertising react to this drastic change?
The digital advertising industry has been driven by tech providers collecting data from publishers making it available to the buyer side. This has benefited ONE party and that’s the tech providers also including players like Facebook and Google. From individual users, advertisers/brands and publishers this hasn’t been as beneficial. Users frustrated by irrelevant ads, install ad blockers. Advertisers see lower engagement in their ads due to them being shown in the wrong context. On the publishers’ side, they are experiencing a lack of control over their inventory and who’s buying.
According to IAB 71% of the users prefer ads to be targeted to their interests and shopping habits and three out of four prefer fewer but more personalized ads. This will not make advertising money move away from digital because digital advertising is not a media channel today. It’s more of a dimension where there are fantastic opportunities to meet/serve users with relevant ads in a context they’re interested in. Doing this in the future will require a change in the balance of power and a closer relationship between buyer/advertiser and seller/publisher. We’ll definitely see more publisher consortia but also big publishers taking control of their inventory through walled gardens where transparency, availability, and control will be key factors. The trend of large brands bringing their media buying in-house will definitely continue especially seeing the value of capitalizing on the data they have on their users/customers. Acquisitions that companies like AT&T, Walmart, Telia, etc. are making is evidence of this
Maybe the cookie apocalypse was too drastic a header because at the end of the day it’s a natural change in an industry that’s lost some of its core values.