What 2020 holds for the digital advertising industry according to CES

CES this year was a big surprise, while not in size, but rather in old friends such as Apple, making it back just in time (after a 28 years gap) to talk consumer demand on privacy protections and regulation. Tech giants and like-minded ad tech players were plowing the buy-side for brands and agencies’ attention. 

One of the main discussions was consolidation and the rise of subscription-based models. With the pressure of US federal privacy regulations eminent impact on third party data and targeting, it’s clear that advertisers are embattled for ad-supported media. 

While platforms claimed they were trying to bring salvation for agencies uphill battle, they failed to account for advertisers’ actual needs or wants. CES only proved that the triopoly was not going anywhere with tech titans such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook rolling out related products for the buy-side establishing their goliath hold. 

That being said, we have seen some push back with initiatives such as prebid header bidding, finally being noticed by the buy-side as it brings innovative solutions implemented across known frameworks such as prebid.js generating greater competition across the industry. Contextual being an integral part as it already started making a comeback as the targeting promise land for both advertisers and publishers, especially following google’s cookie move. 

As 2020 progresses, we will have no other way to survive but to strengthen the collaboration between the buy and sell-side for mutual benefits. While the interest seems mutually exclusive, implementing AI capabilities that will serve advertisers as well as publishers will determine the ad-supported media’s long-term viability. 

Eventually, the digital advertising industry’s survival, in what seems to be shaping up to be a privacy-first eco-system, it will need to find the middle ground in the form of a smart and efficient ad-decisioning tool.