Advertising Digital Publishing
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What’s new in adtech this year (so far)

As predicted, one month in and 2020 has already seen its first acquisition. Following a string of mergers and acquisitions last year, video advertising platform Unruly was purchased from News Corp by Tremor for £15m and a further £30m in revenue spread out over the next three years. Founded in 2006, New Corp bought Unruly in 2015 for £115m – a fair amount more than what it was sold for. Providing outstream video to 50+ New Corp titles, it works directly with another 2,000 publishers, meaning Tremor will have exclusive rights to sell outstream video ads, which appear within publisher content, across News Corp’s titles. 

January is also the month that saw German investment group Media and Games Invest (MGI) buy US adtech company Verve Wireless. The mobile data platform for location-based programmatic video and display marketing was purchased for an undisclosed fee and joins MGI’s media and advertising division alongside Pubnative, Applift, ReachHero, Adspree, Mediakraft, and Gamigo Group. MGI has acquired more than 30 companies and assets in the last six months which will not only strengthen the company’s product portfolio, but its clients and user base as well. By acquiring Verve, MGI believes it is building strong synergies within the group and with it media and gaming companies.  

The new decade also saw new privacy laws implemented, with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) effective from January 1st. Currently, there still seems to be some confusion as to how the new privacy law is supposed to work. Even if you’re not in California the law still matters. With the changes required by CCPA, companies need to update their privacy policies and create new links and buttons that allow users to opt-out. Some publishers are rolling this out to others living outside of California, for ease of implementing the opt-out forms to stay compliant. 

While on the matter of data privacy, Google Chrome made the announcement that everyone saw coming, which was the news it will be killing third-party cookies by 2022. But it’s not to be feared, but embraced by digital publishers. Amit Kotecha, Marketing Director at Permutive wrote exclusively for What’s New in Publishing about how this signals a new golden age for publishers. As Kotecha writes: “Rather than mourning the demise of the third-party cookie publishers should instead be looking at how the industry can re-architect ad technologies to make first-party data the new currency and to rebuild the digital industry.” 

Also in Jan, The Telegraph Group said it will be pulling of ABC newspaper circulation audit as the publisher no longer feels it is a key metric and instead will publish its subscriber numbers every month instead. This forms part of the groups strategy of reaching 10m registered users and 1m paying subscribers by 2020, Press Gazette reports
Lastly, The Guardian has announced it will no longer accept advertising from fossil fuel companies in a bid to increase its environmental credentials. The fossil fuel industry currently is a significant investor in UK print, as The Drum reports.

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