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What I Saw Happen -- Q3 2017


Facebook & Google continue to dominate despite issues, Amazon now makes it a triopoly. Publishers go into 2018 looking to cut costs as Direct ad sales revenue slows. Marketers are trying to move to clean the ecosystem but taking longer than it should.

ads.txt will work to help clean up the ecosystem, just takes time from both publishers and marketers to work through the process

Content is not KING anymore; platforms with logged-in users are KING and will remain KING for a generation (or until broken up by the government)

Video content is QUEEN -- 30 minute+ episodic programming is hot and will stay hot for a generation

The new Appnexus, Live Ramp, Index Exchange identity consortium is very promising, though will take time

Podcasts are awesome and will become a big ad medium down the road, though they need a programmatic revenue and measurement infrastructure -- Vox makes great podcasts

2018 budgeting is going to be very hard for most ad tech companies and especially publishers

Year over year Direct Sales predicted to be down about 15% in Q4 that makes me very nervous for a tough Q4 and even harder 2018 (msg aGaDdo estimate); plus as TV upfront $'s start to hit in Q4 2017 this may cause digital a year of pain

Facebook, Google Amazon Triopoly

Amazon will be part of the duopoly so it is NOW a Triopoly; Criteo and The Trade Desk also growing, just a much smaller scale

The TV industry is run by an oligopoly – 6 pipe companies, 7 content providers and 5 agencies (heard this from Dave Morgan on his recode podcast, excellent listen)

Facebook instant articles, Facebook audience network and fakebook video breaks -- FB continues to invent new ad products

Facebook CPMs are rising, though ROI still good for most marketers; FB smart to not add more ads in the news stream

Amazon will pick NYC as its new US headquarters, grab 5,000 of brightest from all NYC baked media companies and kill all NYC media in the process

Snap is still having troubles getting a strong foothold with agencies, not promising for them long term

Amazon will build and run a huge DSP, they are very patient and in it for the long run


Agencies promise better pricing as marketers undergo agency reviews

Consolidation is finally happening and agency/holding company stocks are down; Agencies are flat, they need to morph into something new

Not sure if PD/PA are viable for the long run

Direct RFP volume is dropping across the board


SFDC still rules the Direct world, though most pubs don't use the CRM tool as well as they should

BuzzFeed getting into programmatic, need other revenue to go public, plus Direct is slowing; Buzz feed -- ADX, FB Amazon and Criteo ONLY

Publishers need to be more agile than ever before

Again, publishers need to hire more engineers, I said it before and I will say it again

2018 advertising revenue goals will be very hard to achieve and 2019 will be even harder

Publishers need to drastically change, grow with acquisition or slowly die -- frog in the boiling water syndrome

if Publishers move out of the advertiser space, then what -- Town Square Media buying a Ferris wheel company, Time inc. -- 'People Perks' Membership for Product Discounts, etc.

GDPR is real and coming quickly

Ad Tech (DSP, SSP etc..)

Appnexus ID consortium is huge for industry if it works - it's a way to limit Google and Apple's power and be able to address users through mobile devices without relying on the cookie

Getting tough out there

Is there an appetite for consolidation in the ad tech world

ads.txt will hurt the some of the ad tech companies who are not fully transparent

BONUS -- my favorite podcasts

WTF with Marc Maron

DOUBLE BONUS -- great companies that will be around for the next 10+ years…





LinkedIn (part of Microsoft)







AT&T/Direct TV

Verizon (though not Oath)

















European Soccer/Football (e.g., Premiere League)

Peloton Bikes

Bar Stool Sports

Bleacher Report

Map My Run/Under Armor


Everyday Health

Web MD

Healthline Networks

One Medical







Uber (now under new management)


??? (any suggestions)



Warby Parker





Consulting Houses – Anderson, EY, PWC, Bain, Booz, etc.


Oracle (Datalogix/BK/MOAT)


General Electric

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

Industry: Video -- High quality entertainment products, specializing in the production of TV type shows

Industry: Live Sports & eSports -- Live 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

Industry: Battery Storage -- Anything to do with electricity and storage of power; we have a huge appetite to constantly feed the machines

Industry: Banking and Finance -- Especially payment processing of non-conventional methods like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Block Chain

Industry: Technology Platforms -- Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, etc. Nimble platforms run by a visionary that think long term and consumers love the brand

Industry: 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

Industry: 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

Industry: 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

Job: 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

Job: Consultative Sales Experts -- Companies will always need sellers, especially those who are smart, can be consultative and tell a story

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