Articles by Ciaran
Much has been made of ad tech’s new strategic buyers. With the demise of traditional buyers, like AOL and Yahoo, and the departure of Google, new players have filled the M&A vacuum. The most prolific of these new buyers have been the telcos.
Looking to unlock the value of their first-party data, and diversify beyond their plateauing core business, the telcos have been actively shopping for ad tech assets.
They all seem to have varying strategies [...]
In the face of the Google and Facebook duopoly, and squeezed margins, which models will survive?
If you believe every ad tech naysayer in the industry, you will think ad tech is on its last legs. Many people see Facebook and Google growing disproportionately to the rest of the industry and, as a result, think they are ultimately unstoppable. It’s a fair point. Their growth cannot be denied; but on closer examination it’s really in the mid-to-long-tail ‘mom and [...]
When I met Gurman Hundal seven years ago in a small Soho pub for the first time, he told me he was going to start a programmatic ad network. At first I thought, as a model, it would have no longevity; but anyone who has worked with Gurman knows and respects his deep understanding of advertising technology and what’s possible operationally. Media iQ’s core offering was going to be about 100% programmatic trading.
The main reason I was so [...]
Consultancies have been busy acquiring creative agencies and leveraging their existing end-to-end relationship with clients to build market share in digital marketing. Deloitte, IBM, Accenture, and McKinsey are all building internal capabilities to attract more business from brand marketers.
Creative seems to be a focus for much of their activity thus far – where, presumably, fat consultancy fees can be charged to clients. Media buying has not really had a lot of interest for ad land’s new competitive set – but [...]
For one week every year the global ad tech community descends on London and Cologne to feast on product releases, ad tech rumour, and granular content.
This year, it all starts in London on Monday, 11 September, with the world’s most-respected and longest-running programmatic event, ATS London, now in its ninth year and almost sold out!
Next comes dmexco, the biggest ad tech exhibition in the world. This two-day extravaganza takes place in Cologne and is described by [...]
ATS London is now in its eighth year and I still remember our first event vividly. It took place in the old Centre Point building and, like all of our ATS events since, it was oversold. The great Mike Nolet, former AppNexus CTO, spoke. As did Ben Barokas.
There was a joint keynote from Marco Bertozzi and the late great Kurt Hecht. Louisa Wong, then a publisher exec at Sky, was picking fights with everyone on the buy [...]
There was a lot of M&A this year in advertising technology. According to Eric Franchi’s ad tech M&A tracker, there were eighteen acquisitions in excess of USD$100m (£68.4m) in 2016 – with a combined total of nearly USD$10bn (£6.8bn). This obviously should be viewed as a positive for the industry. Ad tech clearly still plays a crucial part in the monetisation and execution strategies of publishers, agencies and brands.
Despite the M&A frenzy this year there is a sense in [...]
The Yahoo saga is finally over. After the most protracted sales process of recent times, Verizon acquired Yahoo’s core assets (content properties, email, search, and an assortment of ad technology) for nearly USD$5bn (£3.8bn). It is likely that Mayer will disappear into the sunset with a considerable payoff – and Verizon has, at last, added a critical piece to its overall offering, which will help it take on the growing Google/Facebook hegemony.
From my high-level perspective, this is a fantastic deal. Verizon will scale, adding several [...]
King is rumoured to be launching a media business later this year to help build revenue around its incredibly sticky global audience of 463 million monthly active users.
The gaming giant has already made a number of key hires in the new part of the business – most notably Lucia Mastromauro, poached from Google, to be King’s UK MD.
King needs to steer away from interruptive advertising, as it has been proven that this negatively affects in-app purchases. The game-playing experience is [...]
It’s the mobile industry’s big week – when thousands of opinion formers, C-level execs, and journalists from the mobile industry flock to Barcelona to discuss all things mobile for a full week.
Amid the blizzard of hardware launches and high-level keynotes from industry leaders (Zuckerberg is keynoting again!), ad tech will again play its bit part at the show – occupying the fringes instead of rightly being prime time.
Despite its ‘minor’ role at MWC, ad tech is playing a vital part [...]