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Home > Uncategorized  > Ad Tech Fragmentation: In Reverse

When the financial investment enthusiasm for digital advertising technology companies was at an all-time high in 2013, the Ad Tech industry had a Wild West feel to it. Investors were eager and impressed with ad networks and emerging technology. After a lull by the year 2015, investors concluded they should dismiss any technology that was struggling to reverse the sector’s low margin, high volume dynamics given the Ad Tech LUMAcape looked like a plate of spaghetti and every company claimed to be doing it better than the competition. Fast forward to today where ad networks are a thing of the past, and investors ROI stakes have become considerably higher after the emergence of consumer data privacy laws and a third-party cookie less future.

In the next two years, the manner in which the industry makes money will experience irreversible change. Some of the largest online media owners are stifling the data that formulates the foundation of their companies. Soon, companies that heavily rely on third-party cookies or mobile identifiers will have to make do with even less.

The argument that larger, more integrated Ad Tech companies are better prepared to respond to changing market conditions rings true. Ad tech companies are concentrating their efforts on two fields that have yet to become commoditized: CTV and identity resolution.

The cookie-less environments have grown from Safari and Firefox to soon Chrome, and mobile iOS platform killing IDMA. Publishers, media companies and data aggregators are adapting and even developing patented technology around universal IDs to reemerge as unique leaders in the Ad Tech world.

The new wave of data consolidation is bringing Ad Tech back to its roots. Instead of some specialized platforms thriving in a fractured environment, companies that were designed to do so will now have to do the contrary. Both the buy and sell sides of the programmatic market will see more Ad Tech companies join together to leverage shared data and reverse operating as silos, which will reverse fragmentation and drive the next wave of successful companies in this industry.

Group Chief Product Officer at Ebiquity, Ruben Schreurs, expressed his opinion that the Ad Tech market is suited for some behemoth winners, with independents/startups operating on the fringes until they get bought by the leaders. Major companies are getting stronger and smaller companies are consolidating. Recent mergers and acquisitions include: Magnite and Spotx, Smart Adserver and Capital Croissance, Liveramp and Datafleets, District M and Sharethrough. And Viant went public in February. It’s a hot market—but it’s unclear how long all this investment activity will last, and defragmentation will change the LUMAscape in years to come.


Our team at Frontline Digital collaborates with you to raise your brand visibility and generate leads to help your sales grow. We will partner with you to meet your advertising goals, whether you need email marketing, social media marketing, mobile or display/video advertising. Contact us today at 800-460-0344 or [email protected].

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