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Weekly Roundup: Identity Wrapper, Adtech Consolidation, Contextual Targeting, and More.

Adtech Weekly Roundup
“Exclusive inventory deals are hard to come by for SSPs, since most publishers opt to work with many exchanges to increase bids per impression.”

Identity Wrapper to Manage Multiple IDs

As we all know, both the sell-side and the buy-side of the adtech industry are looking to frame a reliable solution to run targeted ads without third-party cookies. Universal or shared IDs promise to help publishers to stay compliant with the privacy laws and offer audience addressability as well. 

Prebid, the industry’s leading open-source header bidding wrapper supports 9 user id solutions today. While the ids are providing value to the ecosystem, the proliferation of ID vendors has led to increased complexity. 

So, PubMatic launched “Identity Hub”, essentially a wrapper for IDs last week. Here are the highlights. 

What is it?

Identity Hub is “an enterprise management solution” that allows publishers to manage multiple IDs effectively so that advertisers can recognize and bid on the users regardless of whatever ID providers they are in sync with. 

Identity Hub directly integrates with existing ID partners of Prebid including IAB DigiTrust, The Trade Desk Unified ID, ID5, and LiveIntent. But what’s interesting is, the solution claims to offer built-in analytics to help you understand the incremental value of the IDs. 

Publishers can manage integration and configuration of ID partners via a UI, rather than directly altering the code on the pages. 

“By extending open-source code from Prebid, PubMatic’s Identity Hub addresses this challenge by simplifying the use of multiple IDs in an intuitive, easy-to-manage solution.” 

–  Ankur Srivastava, Director of Product Management, PubMatic (Src).

Takeaway:

It works similar to header bidding wrapper and you can integrate it with your own wrapper if you are using more than a few ID partners. But the question is, what happens to the ecosystem if there are tens of ID partners and publisher chose to integrate with most of them with a solution like Identity Hub? We will have more IDs for a single user again, but this time from different ID partners, not ad tech platforms. 

Adtech M&As: Tremor Acquires Unruly from News Corp

We’ve been tracking adtech consolidation from 2018. In our roundups, M&As are one of the regular topics as it signals how the industry is reacting to challenges. According to LUMA partners, the number of scaled deals (across adtech, mar-tech, and digital media) worth $100 million or more increased by nearly 20% last year. 

So, M&As aren’t going anywhere. Why?

Increased consolidation, the growth of CTV, scalable business opportunities, gaining competitive advantages. 

Recently, Rubicon Project acquired Telaria to form The Trade Desk of the sell-side and last week, Tremor brought Unruly, an outstream video advertising network from News Corp In exchange, News Corp gets a 6.9% equity stake in Tremor, which is about $20 million, based on Tremor’s stock on last Monday. 

With this acquisition, Tremor signed a three-year contract with News Corp to use Unruly as its exclusive outstream video ad vendor. 

“Exclusive inventory deals are hard to come by for SSPs, since most publishers opt to work with many exchanges to increase bids per impression.”

– CEO Ofer Druker, Tremor (Src).  

Besides, Tremor plans to leverage the brand partnerships of Unruly to pull in larger ad clients to use its platform. Unruly is still not profitable and it never completely integrated into News Corp. tech stack as intended. It makes sense for Tremor to buy it as Druker puts “a full-stack model makes sense in a market as the DSP and SSP borders become more vague”. 

Takeaway:

It’s all about the opportunities. On one hand, the adtech ecosystem is continuing to face competition from the triopoly and on the other, third-party cookie data that supports programmatic seems to be going away (ITP and privacy laws).  

“Look at Outbrain and Taboola, which decided to combine and go for the win instead of fighting each other. And Telaria and Rubicon, which saw the opportunity that The Trade Desk created for itself on the demand side and realized they could do the same on the supply side.” 

– Conor McKenna, a VP at LUMA. 

M&As help companies thrive together.

IBM’s AI Tool to Better Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

AI has been entering every aspect of our lives, adtech is not an exception. Recently IBM launched Advertising Accelerator with Watson, a tool that will use AI to take Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) to the next level.

Up until now, DCO had its own shortcomings, for example, it completely relied on the set of rules given by the advertiser, whereas IBM’s tool can optimize campaigns on the basis of a wider range of variables (apart from the ones provided by the advertiser). Watson can predict the best combinations of creatives even before the launch of a campaign, whereas traditional ways of campaign optimization required empirical data from the current campaign.

According to Dave Neway, the head of marketing at IBM Watson Advertising, the tool can better predict the best combination of visual elements for high engagement, create audience segmentation on the basis of user preferences and bring deeper insights for driving more engagement. It is also lesser reliant on context and cookies.

Takeaway:

We know the importance of personalization for better conversion. While most of the privacy concerned forces are leading to lower ad revenue for publishers, the developments for better user experience are something that can bring balance in the chaos, AI in adtech is one such development. IBM working on such developments is not a big deal but the fact that innovation is happening for better campaign performance is a sign of a better future. Improved campaign performance will eventually help publishers with higher revenue. Publishers should keep their eyes on such signs of progress and leverage them wherever possible.

Meredith’s New Contextual Ad Targeting Tool

As the third-party data becomes difficult to use, the shift towards first-party data has been evident in the industry. Recently, the media company Meredith took a step further by combining its first-party data with AI to show highly relevant ads to the user. The ads can be so flawless that they can yield a CTR of a whopping 5%. As explained by Digiday

  • “A person living on a farm in Michigan reading a story in the morning about how to prepare breakfast quickly, for example, might get an ad for a breakfast sandwich featuring the address of a nearby drive-thru.
  • A person living in Miami reading the same article at the same time might get an ad for a breakfast wrap, which the reader can order inside the ad itself, then have the food delivered.”

Not only advertising but Meredith is also capable of earning affiliate commission with its unique strategy.

Takeaway:

As the cookie is seeing its final days, we are seeing more and more publishers using the first-party data to entice the advertisers. The end of the cookie is inevitable, sooner or later every publisher has to have a solution to replace it. The publishers that have already come up with a replacement are enjoying the first-mover advantage. Therefore every publisher should be proactive to stay in the race.

Moments that Matter

BuzzFeed Edges Closer to Profitability After Tough Year (Here’s how they did it). – The Wall Street Journal

What ad buyers want from Walmart: more transparency, more control – Digiday

The crisis that never was: Why mobile ad-blocking fears haven’t been realized – Digiday.DoubleVerify launches real-time, predictive ad effectiveness solution – Martech Today.

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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