Finally, automation is here, and there's little doubt it is fundamentally changing our industry, powered by sophisticated yield optimisation algorithms and platforms offering the ability to bid on each impression served.
So, can we finally throw away our manually generated insertion orders, and book every campaign systematically? Can media owners connect up their platforms to the cloud, and walk away? Will market forces replace expensive sales people?
As RTB accounts for only 12% of display trading, it's clear there's still a long way to go. Certainly, automation is growing rapidly, but it's still fair to say that most automated campaigns are focused on the lowest value inventory.
Similarly, the vast majority of inventory traded in automated systems is still considered remnant and would be otherwise unsold.
As we begin 2013, we have already seen activity that points towards a shakeout in the advertising technology industry.
In the space of one week, we saw MediaMath buy Akamai’s Advertising Decision Solutions unit, AppNexus secure $75m funding, part of which will be used for acquisitions, and ad exchange business adBrite shut down its operations.
And we are likely to see greater industry consolidation as we continue through the year. So what's important when it comes to technologies in today's ad tech environment?
Any time I mention the word ‘programmatic’ in a meeting or on a call, people immediately assume that we’re talking about RTB, and the focus of the discussion will centre around remnant inventory.
For some reason, ‘programmatic’ has become shorthand for ‘RTB’. But this is definitely not the case, as ‘programmatic’ should be, and is in fact, equally as applicable to the premium tier as it is to low-value inventory.