Advertising Digital Innovation
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What’s new in adtech in December 2020

No, it’s not a typo. As the industry is awash with predictions for 2020 we thought we would mix it up and do it a little differently this year. Instead, we are looking ahead to this time next year and reflecting on what we think (has), or will be, the headlines of 2020. So as we get out our crystal ball, we asked for some help from industry specialists to future gaze at what is going to be new in adtech in December 2020.

As 2019 closed with yet another merger and acquisition story with SSPs Rubicon Project and Teleria merging to create the largest independent sell-side advertising platform, it will set the scene for the continued pattern of adtech consolidation in 2020. 

Also coming up in 2020 – privacy, data, and anti-tracking. With the California Consumer Privacy Act coming into force in January it’s predicted this will cause a domino effect of other States wanting to follow suit. New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Hawaii are all drafting their own privacy laws. It’s also to be expected that Google’s Chrome will add the final blow to third-party cookies with its anti-tracking update. “…headlines will be dominated by the evolving regulatory impact of both GDPR and CCPA, and the effects of browsers taking steps to limit the use of third-party cookies.” Sonia Pham, Head of Business Analysis at Illuma Technology comments. “Quality media owners should stand to benefit from these developments as their own first-party data becomes more valuable.” 

Sharing this sentiment is Joe Root, CEO and co-founder at DMP Permutive who predicts the power will be in the hands of the publisher as we enter into the year 2021 as the events of 2020 will put a final end to third-party data. Speaking with What’s New in Publishing about what 2020 will look like, Joe said: “[It] will be known as the year that the third-party cookie finally crumbled, the year started with the California Consumer Privacy Act and we are now seeing other States planning their own federal laws. This final push created an industry-wide shift from third-party data to leveraging a publisher’s own powerful first-party data.” 

“2021 will finally be the year publishers take back control as their data becomes increasingly valuable, and with this, we will see a new era of creativity and innovation.” This will add greater value to publisher content, as Sonia comments: “…programmatic traders will move towards more sophisticated and nuanced targeting methods which favour long-form pages, thereby empowering publishers to reappraise and place greater value upon their content.”

2019 also saw its fair share of adtech casualties, with the year closing on the news that video-focused company Eyeview which had raised $80 million in investment, was shutting due to cash flow. The sad news was delivered just before Christmas when its 100 employees were told they were being let go and the business would cease operations as 2019 ended. 

However, where there are losers there will also be winners, and one of the winners in 2020 will be digital out of home or DOOH. This will be a platform that will truly take off and set the foundations for a new breed of “digital publisher”. Jean-Christophe Conti, CEO at VIOOH fast forwards to December 2020 and reflects back on the headlines, predicting DOOH will be awash with investment and further updates. “In 2020, there has been huge growth in multi-screen programmatic campaigns across DOOH, including integration with mobile and connected TV, delivering incredible impact for both activation and branding campaigns. This growth has been driven by DOOH gaining media spend from other channels, such as TV, addressing the imbalance between the level of media consumption in DOOH and the level of advertising spend in the medium.”

So, while the industry is looking strong and promising for some, the natural ebb and flow of the industry suggest there will be further losses and partnerships along the way. But who will be right and who will be wrong? What’s New in adtech will return in January (2020) when the usual round-up will be back, and as it will follow the implementation of CCPA it’s likely we will soon find out if some of our predictions come true.

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