As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time once again to invite ad tech CEOs to try their hand at a sport of fortune telling. Will Amazon establish itself as the third pillar of a new ‘triopoly’? Will Netflix launch an ad-supported service? Will we see the emergence of 5G have an impact? Read below to see what our CEOs think:
Dave Morgan, CEO, Simulmedia
For the sixtieth or more year in a row, TV won’t die. OTT advertising will grow, but will bifurcate substantially into high value premium and low value, fraud-ridden, non-premium buckets, with TV companies working hard to aggregate as much of the premium OTT inventory as they can get their hands on to bundle and sell with their own, still sparse, OTT inventory. The TV companies will try to become the market-defining hubs for the buying and selling of premium OTT, working hard to integrate TV and OTT inventory with cross-platform audience and ad insights. YouTube will try to counter this with their own OTT insights, and will start reselling linear TV inventory on behalf of TV companies as integrated sales packages. Facebook Watch will still struggle with creating an integrated user experience long-form streaming video and its mobile social network.
Ari Paparo, CEO, Beeswax
There are two contradicting forces in online advertising. On the one hand, the large platforms are taking a bigger bite of the market, forcing consolidation and reducing innovation. On the other hand, the overall programmatic market is taking over the world, with TV, OOH, and other forms of media becoming increasingly trade-able, and where there is much less leverage for the “triopoly” to take over.
Mike Shehan, CEO, SpotX
As brands execute their advertising strategies throughout 2019, it is clear that they will need to be flexible and open to change — whether that means diversifying their ad spend among the changing traditional TV landscape and OTT, investing in emerging technology to activate their data, or adapting current processes to comply with new regulation.
On the supply side, OTT providers and other players — such as virtual MVPDs, telcos, and more — will seek to expand into new global markets, but they’ll need to get creative and find ways to increase the value of their inventory while complying with region- and country-specific data privacy laws. Publishers across media types should re-evaluate their technology investments to ensure these partnerships enable them to effectively leverage data and increase the value of their inventory.
All in all, the top thing the digital advertising industry can count on in 2019 is change — change in the ad experiences offered to consumers, change in the technology available, and change in the way various aspects of the industry are regulated.
Kim Perell, CEO, Amobee
For broadcasters and cable networks, the use of data, forecasting and audience management technology will no longer be reserved for advanced TV budgets. It will become an indispensable part of their core business and deliver greater value for not only their advertisers, but their own bottom line as well. 2019 will be the year TV sellers truly embrace technology at the centre of their business.
Mark Zagorski, CEO, Telaria
This will be the year that ad-supported OTT revenue surpasses subscription-supported OTT revenue and become the medium’s default monetisation model. While Netflix captures a majority of subscription-based OTT revenue, their subscriber growth has slowed dramatically. Meanwhile, Roku’s ad revenue increased 67 percent between 2017 and 2018, and, in 2019 as cord cutting accelerates, it’s likely that three of the top five best selling TVs in the U.S. will be powered by Roku software. Based on Telaria’s research on cord cutting behaviour, more than 75 percent of cable subscribers in the U.S. already use a streaming TV service, and 30 percent say they would cut the cord if they could live stream sports, events and news. And finally, it’s almost certain that Amazon Prime Video will launch an ad-supported offering in 2019. Advertisers are hungry for connected TV inventory and all signs point to an increased supply of ad-supported content to satisfy that demand.
Adam Singolda, CEO, Taboola
One of the biggest things we’ll see change the industry will be the availability of 5G and mainly the ecosystem of services it will create around it. The proliferation and accessibility to video was made possible with 4G and I believe we’ll see a similar effect when 5G comes along in new services that will be born around data going back and forth much faster. This will affect video advertisers both in terms of the creation opportunities of new formats, serving them and even measuring its effect. Some examples will be more “obvious” things such as high resolution videos, 4K or more, all the way to augmented reality opportunities. In terms of where I see the scarcity of premium videos being changed or rather resolved, I think the open web will transform from a finite web to an infinite one, where videos will be much more in-stream, similar to what social media has introduced. This is an area we’re doubling (and tripling) down on via our Taboola Feed product, where we’re trending to reach 1 billion video views a day in the near future.
Nadav Shmuel, CEO, Precise TV
I see 2019 as another big year for vertical video. IGTV, the standalone vertical video application Instagram launched in June, will continue to gain momentum and capture further user attention. With that will come further interest and investment from advertisers as the format grows its reach.
Live video will also see growth in the next 12 months as it offers publishers a cost-effective means of producing large amounts of authentic content. This in turn raises concerns from a brand safety perspective.
Brand safety is a question marketers need an answer to – something many of them currently lack. However, we can see that changing for the better. The ripple effect created by GDPR in 2018 will continue to be felt in the upcoming year with more advertisers turning to truly contextual solutions to help solve their problems with compliance, relevance and brand safety.
As the video land grab wages on between FANG, Facebook will be the ones who need to show they can translate their dominance in social and compete with the other platforms when it comes to video. Following their recent troubles with video, Facebook will be keen to avoid any high-profile brand safety disasters in the space and will likely look to work with third party vendors for the required support and infrastructure.