Bursting The Bubble of Doom

Digital advertising in 2017? You’d be forgiven for thinking that any light at the end of the tunnel is an unstoppable train that’s coming to mow us all down.

Today, right on the front page of this site, in the blurb I wrote about myself, it says, “I’ve spent over 15 years helping European publishers apply rapidly changing ad technology to help manage online advertising but, as it’s the day job, it’s not all I (occasionally) write about.”

I just looked and it seems that I have not written – at least, not written here – about digital advertising since 27th August 2014. I used to write a lot more: there’s a whole category that houses past ramblings but, in spite of (or, perhaps, because of ) the constant changes in the industry I haven’t hit a keyboard on the topic in a while.

I do have a FlipBoard Magazine on the topic, which I recently noticed you can read in a browser as well as through their apps (hint, you should subscribe). I use this to post articles on digital advertising that I find most interesting and it serves as a good reference book for me. After a quick scan over some of the industry headlines from the past year and I can see why I haven’t really written anything:

  • Everyone Disgusted With Ad Industry (adcontrarian)
  • Where did the money go? Guardian buys its own ad inventory (The Guardian)
  • What media companies don’t want you to know about ad blockers (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Banner ads are dead because your phone killed them (Recode)
  • Internet Video Views Is A 100 Percent Bullshit Metric (Gawker)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that any light at the end of the tunnel is an unstoppable train that’s coming to mow us all down. When you add this bubble of doom to the wider political landscape (“London tech and media companies may bolt in the wake of Brexit“) then you’d be forgiven for scanning LinkedIn for a whole new industry to work in.

But, on my last working day of the year, I wanted to end the year with the thought that it’s not all as the headlines portray. There are good things to come.

Unlike previous years where I gazed in into the crystal ball for you (like here and here), I am leaving it to others to interpret the tea leaves for 2017. In summary, as Coull predicts, “2016 delivered transparency, in 2017 we’ll see action emerge from insight.”

  • AI will drive the majority of programmatic innovation (ExchangeWire)
  • Marketers will return to their heartland of strategic creativity (ExchangeWire)
  • Bringing sexy creative back (Adotas)
  • Header bidding will become more accessible (Ve Interactive)

What else might change in 2017? Well, this week an AdExchanger article noted, “One thing few people seem to want to discuss publicly is that the current suite of vendors benefit from the discrepancies that plague the market.” Are we at a tipping point where standardisation means more than just everybody showing the same 728×90 banner? Let’s hope so – it’s about time.

Then, of course, there’s new ad-tech. I think there’s a lot of innovation still to come in the space yet, look at Amazon:

We have been open, transparent and in constant communication with advertisers for 10 years, if you include the managed service. We’ve been iterating and bringing more value to those advertisers. Our focus hasn’t been on making noise but on listening to advertisers and doing what’s best for them. [Source: Adexchanger]

After all this, I’m still to be convinced that next year, “Programmatic TV will come of age“. I guess only the New Year will tell. I’m looking forward to finding out.

Merry Christmas.

Author: jon

Jon Curnow writes on curnow.org about things that interest him. The site has been around for many years in various forms and he always wants to write much more here than he does.

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