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Weekly Roundup: 2021 Adtech Outlook, Post-Cookie World, Prebid’s New Data Module.

Adtech News
How's 2021 looking for publishers and what buyers expect from the sell-side?, ID solutions are gaining pace amid the upcoming cookie changes, Prebid releases a new data module, and more.


  • The majority of the publishers are optimistic about 2021. But the responses from media buyers tell which publishers will get the best results in the coming year.
  • The Washington Post and OpenX become the latest adopters of Unified ID 2.0. Neustar launches a separate ID solution.
  • The EU is about to introduce two new laws for big tech companies. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc., are likely to suffer the most.
  • Are AMP and Facebook Instant Articles any good in 2020? Dig deeper to find out.
  • Prebid’s Real-Time Data infrastructure is out of the beta stage. Now publishers can build real-time data sharing modules for header bidding.

2021 Outlook from Publishers and Media Buyers

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the boats of most of the publishers. But as the uncertainties are subsiding, optimism is rising. Here are some insights from Digiday and IAB that give us the market outlook for 2021:


  • 55% of publishers expect double-digit revenue growth in 2021.
  • 17% of publishers think that their revenue will grow by more than 25%. 
  • 45% of the respondents from agencies expect that their revenue will grow in double digits.
  • 19% of agency professionals expect the revenue to be flat.
  • 12% of agency professionals anticipate 25% or more growth.

Digiday Research Agency Publishers


  • Buyers expect a 6% overall increase in their 2021 budgets.
  • More than 33% of buyers feel the need for more first-party data.
  • Digital will constitute 71% of the total budget.


Both Digiday and IAB used different sample sizes, so we shouldn’t be comparing the studies. Instead, we should use them to draw a rough plan for publishers. Optimism is clearly visible in both the studies, but IAB’s findings hint about the growing preference towards first-party data. We have seen the evidence of this trend in our last week’s roundup as well. So, avoid over-optimism and focus on your clients’ needs to make a sound strategy for the next year. 

Post-Cookie World

Unified ID 2.0

The cookie apocalypse has brought the adtech industry into action. Many players are working on identity solutions, and The Trade Desk is among the leading contenders. Last month we saw Magnite and Pubmatic joining hands with The Trade Desk for Unified ID 2.0. This month, again, we are seeing new adopters from various realms of the industry. 

Washington Post becomes the first publisher to adopt the Unified ID 2.0 framework. It’ll allow the buyers to use the ID while buying inventory on its platform. It’ll also integrate the ID with its ‘Zeus Performance’ platform. So, the publishers using the Zeus platform can use the ID as well. 

OpenX plans to join The Trade Desk from the SSP side. It’ll build the tech necessary to pass the Unified ID in the bid stream. So, when a publisher uses the ID, the DSPs would be able to use the information for buying the inventory.

Fabrick ID

Fabrick ID is another new ID solution from Neustar. It is a pseudonymized token-based ID. The publishers adopting this ID can call Neustar’s API with the information they have on the users, for example, hashed email or phone numbers. Then, the Fabrick ID will create a token that the publishers can use to share the identity data with Neustar’s advertiser clients.

The token will work only for the advertisers and for the purpose specified by the publisher. It’ll expire after around 7 days.

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EU’s New Policies for the Tech Giants

Rising concerns around the enormous powers held by the tech giants have worried the European Union. It is finding ways to stop the companies from being anti-competitive towards smaller businesses and irresponsible towards the content on their sites. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc., will be affected the most after the EU takes action.

The EU is expected to unveil Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) to curb the tech giants’ undue advantages. So far, the contents of both the Acts are not in the public domain. There are speculations that they’ll have a significant impact on these companies’ operations in the region. 

As per Business Insider, the Digital Services Act will make the companies take greater responsibility for their content. They’ll have to work against issues such as political misinformation, illegal content, and the sale of counterfeit goods. Platforms with high numbers of EU users will face higher scrutiny. The act may impose fines worth up to 6% of the companies’ turnover. 

Similarly, the Digital Markets Act will work against anti-competitive practices. For example, Amazon has been accused of using the data from its sellers to launch competing products. Such actions will be taken care of by the DMA.

Can the Duopoly’s Instant Page Loading Capabilities Still Lure Publishers?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook Instant Articles are similar frameworks from Google and FB resp. Both of them offer faster page loads when a publisher hands over his content to the platforms. 

Both the tech giants lured the publishers to use their platforms by providing incentives. Google used to outrank pages with AMP in its SERP, and Facebook presented Instant Articles as an additional revenue stream with improved user experience and higher potential of content discovery. 

But recently, Google announced that it stops outranking AMP pages, and Facebook Instant Articles have lost its charm long back when publishers couldn’t yield significant results from it. So, would publishers keep using the frameworks, or is it the time to move on?

Digiday reports that some publishers may keep using the AMP, given that the platform delivers a good user experience on mobile. Additionally, AMP Stories and Google Discover favor the AMP framework. Both of them are considerable traffic sources for them. Some publishers may believe that their non-AMP pages may never become as fast as the AMP ones, so it’s better to keep them.

But of course, many publishers may want to go beyond the simple light-weight AMP pages to differentiate themselves from their peers. Such publishers may choose to bid a farewell to AMP.

Facebook’s case is different. It is busy convincing the publishers that Instant Articles still works. It is using facts and figures to do so. In a recent announcement, Facebook released some updates related to Instant Articles. Have a look, it says:

  • RPMs on Instant Articles rose 48% YoY for the top 100 publishers in the US and Canada and 27% for the top 500 global publishers.
  • More than 5,700 publishers either started using or returned to AMP.
  • Facebook plans to add more analytical capabilities to the platform.


So, should you jump back to Facebook Instant Articles? It completely depends on the publishers whether or not to use the platforms. If they work for you, then you should continue, or else leave them. 

Prebid’s Real-Time Data Module

Prebid’s Real-Time Data infrastructure is out of the beta stage. It’ll allow the vendors to build modules that can connect a data source in advance of (or alongside) the Prebid auction. The data can be provided to the bidders participating in the auction or to the ad server. You have to use Prebid’s new ‘Real-time data core module interface’ to build your data sharing module.

You can pause the auction until the data is passed. You can select the modules to wait for. The modules that don’t affect the bid requests can get data in tandem with the auction to be able to push results directly to their ad server. Visit Prebid’s site for more details.

Moments that Matter

Direct Podcast Monetization is Challenging: Here’s What Publishers Can Do – Adexchanger

Google accused of colluding with Facebook in online ad market – Financial Times

Facebook Is Developing A Tool To Summarize Articles So You Don’t Have To Read Them – BuzzFeed News

Vox Media Studios targets $100 million in 2021 revenue – Axios

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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