Articles by Ciaran
Is independent ad tech on the wane? Its most vocal champion, Brian O’Kelley, is now a paid employee of AT&T. His company, AppNexus – for the best part of ten years the standard bearer for independent ad tech – is now part of the biggest telco in the world. You wonder where the priorities will lie in the coming 12 months. Will it continue to be the home of the innovative independent ad tech companies that built their [...]
Having done a number of Road to ATS video segments, panels, and op-eds on the future of the service layer of late, I am reminded of just how complex media buying is at a global scale. There is a common misconception that programmatic has made in-housing easier for brands. Some marketers think the algo can now do all the heavy lifting, making activation an easy process. So, why bother to work with an agency or third party?
We sent out a mailer a few weeks ago to our GDPR-compliant subscriber list, titled ‘9 Reasons to Love the Industry. This was to highlight our optimism about the industry and encourage you (dear reader) to attend ATS London this year. Number seven on our upbeat list refers to the opportunity for the current crop of European madtech startups. Never have I seen a bigger opportunity. We are heading into a new epoch for digital marketing.
The service layer is arguably the most competitive segment of digital marketing right now. A bunch of macro and micro trends are transforming the relationship between the marketer and its service provider. The convergence of ad tech and martech, the move towards a customer-first world, and the increasing importance of tech and data in the marketing function, has created a new whitespace where agencies, consultancies, and specialist solution providers are all fighting to own the marketer relationship.
2018 has been the most eventful year I have seen in this industry, since the great ad-tech panic buy of 2007. A number of factors have contributed to this. Firstly, the growing threat and power of the ‘BAT-FANG’ (China’s Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent [BAT], along with the USA’s Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google [FANG]) has forced the hand of big legacy telcos and TV companies globally. The realisation that these tech companies are out to destroy the business [...]
TheGamingEconomy rounds of some of the biggest stories in the business of gaming. In this week’s edition: Voodoo Gets Some Help from Goldman; Apple Back in the Ad Business; and Zynga Grabs Gram Games for USD$250m. Voodoo Gets Some Help from Goldman There is a huge amount of money still going into gaming. Goldman Sachs is investing USD$200 (£150m) into French gaming firm Voodoo, which has had a string of hits over the past twelve months, and is looking to use the [...]
Fortnite is the break-out gaming success of the year. It has currently got 45 million users playing the game (across platforms) and has a run rate of around USD$3bn (£2.3bn) per year. The game has barely touched the sides in terms of growth; and with its Android launch next month, a huge spike in user growth is expected. The freemium gaming model perfected Fortnite’s success has been built on a freemium model. Its ‘Battle Royale’ version is free-to-play [...]
When King launched its ad business nearly two years ago, you sensed a struggle within the company between the burgeoning ad business and its well-established in-app monetisation strategy. The company has nearly 400 million MAUs, and there was clearly an opportunity to monetise that user with an ad model. Video ads, with their high CPMs, was the logical option for King. The problem, as I saw it, was the length of the video ad on their mobile games.
When legislators in the EU came up with the GDPR legislation, I know they had the best intentions to protect the rights of users. For too long digital media, marketing, and advertising technology platforms have been harvesting and monetising data (albeit cookie data, for the most part) without the knowledge of the user. The EU decided to take on this practice by introducing the GDPR – and force companies handling PII to give more control to [...]
When an Irish person tells you in a moment of crisis that, “you’ll be grand”, you truly are in a world of trouble. Things are far from ‘grand’ in digital advertising. Google and Facebook completely dominate the market. Their market shares dwarf everyone – and they are still growing. I have done some cursory analysis around what their combined market share of digital advertising might be in Europe (excluding Russia) – and it makes for painful reading. Even taking into account [...]