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What I Saw Happen -- Q2 2017


  • It is getting tough out there, Goggle revenue now at $26 billion in Q2 and FB at $9.3 billion, they each grow nicely hurting the publisher ad sales industry as we once knew it

  • Publishers and marketers need to hire more engineers to help the operations departments -- use engineers to automate everything; if you can’t hire engineers then outsource it to other companies who have engineering expertise

  • If we broke up FB/GOOG what would we want? Will that ever happen? Does the EU Google fine change the story? Will pubs get paid for content by Google and FB?

  • ads.txt could/should be great for premium publishers and remove some of the shenanigans -- love that word. Question: Can marketers form on a consortium for this, or is this something they should be vigilant about on their own?

  • Year over year direct sales was probably down about 8% in Q2 and down about 15-20% for in Q3, that makes me very nervous (msg agaddo estimate)

  • 2018 budget preparation will be very hard for most companies, how do you budget if growth is slowing. Publishers have not experienced this since the Great Recession of 2008

Facebook/Google Duopoly

  • Amazon is clearly the number three here; Amazon now can accept uploaded email addresses to target users mirroring Facebook’s strategy, Amazon is in this for the long run

  • Will someone ever audit the FB/GOOG 2nd price auction

  • FB still not having great success with Video ads, but they will figure it out -- Does FB buy Netflix?

  • FB/Google duopoly is forcing consolidation and partnerships in the industry -- ATT buying Time Warner, Verizon looking for data from Sprint/T-Mobile, Appnexus/Live Ramp consortium etc.

  • SNAP is down and I think they will have a disappointing Q2. Q: why have their ads not been adopted quickly enough by marketers? I haven’t heard feedback on this, but it still seems too difficult to make work from the outside, and still a brand play

  • FB now more transparent for FAN and instant articles; FB trying to help publishers but happening slowly

  • When does Google go to 100% viewable like FB


  • I think just 10-15% of marketers have brought programmatic buying truly in-house (not using an agency) -- meaning agencies still are in control

  • Marketers move slowly, still

  • P&G pulling $100 million in digital ads, not a great sign for the ecosystem

  • Marketers still love the open auction, how will ads.txt change that?

  • Private Auctions and Preferred Deals are being used wisely by some marketers, grabbing the audience they want when they want it before it hits the open market


970x250 is great ad unit, publishers need more and marketers need to buy more; though no new great ad unit in the publisher world, way too many 300x250's -- where is the Google and FB mobile native ad???

TV big win this upfront, but does that continue next year, I don't think so

Publishers need to work together and share more

Overall VIDEO CPM's on top tier publishers are too low and pubs should start to raise video CPM's in Q3/Q4

Still Too many Direct sales people in the ecosystem as we shift more to programmatic sales

Publishers should love ads.txt, though may take time to kick in

Ad Tech (DSP/SSP, etc.)

  • Do we need a wrapper for video

  • Moat becomes the Nielsen of measuring Facebook nice move by Oracle

  • Who will be next after Audience Science, sad very sad

  • Hearts and Sciences with Sonobi and MediaMath -- interesting move to increase working $'s for Marketers

BONUS -- Industries and jobs of the future (if you decide to leave ad tech)

1. Video entertainment products/services like Netflix, more tailored to short form and on a mobile device also video enabled commerce integrated in content or advertised alongside content

2. Sports will be the only live video program worth watching, individuals will pay a huge premium for watching live sports on A TV or mobile device, though going to live sports events might stop as in- home technology improves over time. Also, live events like the Oscars and news/politics, especially during election season

3. Anything to do with electricity and storage of power; we have a huge appetite to constantly feed the machines

4. Banking and Finance. Especially payment processing of non-conventional methods like Bitcoin and Ethereum

5. Google, Facebook, Amazon and the Apple/Smartphone this includes the Amazon Echo and Google Home; also don’t try to compete with these four goliaths unless you have billions in funding and are led by an engineer, visionary or product guru

6. Education and training; education mostly K to 12 as I am not sure about colleges survive with their exorbitant price tag; unless the collegiate institution has a strong co-op program like Northeastern University; Training will evolve and become more critical

7. Medicine and pharmaceuticals. Especially around technology that makes medicine better, also includes marijuana both recreational and medicinal, elder care as the US and global population gets older

8. Infrastructure and urban planning, including new breeds of transportation like autonomous driving cars in the new sharing economy, including targeted advertising with the riding experience where the ride is free if a purchase is made in a 24-hour window

9. Data Scientist and Engineers, we will always need to store and analyze the data and use engineers to constantly improve the process and make it more efficient

10. Sales people will always be in need, especially those who are smart, can be consultative and tell a story

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