Power Shifting From Big Tech to the Open Web: New Research from Smart & ExchangeWire

Smart, the leading independent ad tech platform, and ExchangeWire, today release findings from a new pan-European research study, revealing that a fundamental power shift is underway, away from big tech towards independent publishers and their ad tech partners.

Coupling original quantitative research with insight from industry professionals across Europe, the comprehensive study reveals that privacy requirements are becoming a core driver behind ad server selection, with nearly one-third of publishers factoring it in. Simultaneously, concerns around business practices and legal compliance are coming to the fore, in the wake of landmark antitrust rulings against big tech incumbents.

The study also reveals that large European publishers are more likely than small publishers to switch to a new ad server in the coming year, while publishers in Germany are substantially more likely than other European publishers to be exploring a switch away from Google within the next 18 months.

Power belongs to the Open Web, and it is time to take it back. Our mission at Smart is to make that happen while promoting a more independent and interoperable ad tech ecosystem. This research confirms what we’ve been increasingly hearing from publishers across Europe and beyond, that they are considering new factors linked to privacy, antitrust, and alignment of interests when selecting their technology partners,” explains Arnaud Créput, CEO at Smart.

“A sign of us heading in the right direction can be seen in the recent announcement of Vocento – a leading media group in Spain – to join us as a full-stack client. This trend is gaining momentum and we are looking forward to seeing what’s to come in the future.

Cost was found to be the predominant factor behind ad server selection in the UK and France. Publisher ad server requirements were also found to vary strongly according to scale. Meanwhile, large publishers are more focused on the transparency of their current provider, namely legal and trust issues, and the desire to leverage new channels.

A full free copy of the report from Smart and ExchangeWire can be downloaded here.


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