Ad Tech Weekly

ATW 79: Is It the End of Ad Tech As We Know It?

Picture of Melina Panitsidis

by Melina Panitsidis on August 1, 2019 - 4 minute read


It’s a privacy-first world and ad tech is just living in it.

Website owners could be held liable for transmitting user data to Facebook, the shocking truth about mobile ad fraud, a new self-serve platform by Hearst, what incrementality testing is, and other ad tech stories.

In This Privacy-First Era, Ad Tech Needs to Evolve or Die

As cookie targeting, frequency capping, and retargeting slowly become a thing of the past, ad tech is faced with the challenging task to evolve along with these changes. The industry can’t afford to sit back as demand for programmatic buying across browsers such as Safari has declined due to growing user privacy concerns. While big industry shifts cause chaos and panic, it also brings about new opportunities. Here are ten areas where ad tech has an opportunity to shine.

Sites could be liable for helping Facebook secretly track your web browsing, says EU court

Facebook’s “Like” button along with website owners placing these widgets on their sites are facing legal issues in the EU. “The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that site owners could be held liable for transmitting data to Facebook without users’ consent — which appears to be exactly what happens when users visit a site with a Like button, whether or not they click it.” While this ruling won’t get rid of this popular Facebook feature, there is sure to be some changes surrounding its tracking features.

Mobile ad fraud took a $2.3bn toll on marketers in the first half of 2019

Appsflyer, a mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform, found $2.3 billion worth of ad spend was subject to app install fraud in just the first half of 2019. More findings surrounding fraud can be found in the company’s 2019 State of Mobile Fraud Report where 2.5 billion app installs were surveyed across 9,500 separate apps from January to June of this year.

Facebook Celebrates $16.6 Billion in Ad Sales and Closure with FTC

While Facebook was previously slapped with a $5 billion privacy fine, the company saw a 28% year-over-year increase in ad revenue. This seems like a win for Facebook but a new privacy regime is taking over that could affect innovation as they will have to address privacy concerns when a new product is developed.

Hearst Is Building A Self-Serve Platform That Enables Facebook-Style Ad Buying

The leading global media and information company’s new self-serve platform is aimed at smaller advertisers looking to combine their first-party data with Hearst’s to reach readers across multiple sites. Currently the options for self-serve buying platforms are limited outside of Facebook and Google. The Hearst platform could potentially be in direct competition with Facebook as most of their ad spend comes from smaller advertisers.

Amazon’s Profit Takes A Hit Due To Investments, Including Its Ad Platform

As Amazon continues to make investments in its ad functionality and other areas of the business, their profit growth streak has come to an end. Amazon executives are characterizing the profit hit as “the company prioritizing long-term opportunities over short-term gains.”

As Marketers Tire Of Last-Click And MTA, Incrementality Testing Finds Its Niche

Incrementality testing could be the answer to addressing attribution blind spots. The method evaluates specific media channels using cohorts and control groups rather than tracking individual users and impressions. It allows marketers to identify areas where they can reduce waste in ad spend.

Moving Beyond GDPR: Evolving From Privacy to Transparency

The General Data Protection Regulation has been a step in the right direction, but it’s not a perfect solution. Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report suggest that 91% of consumers prefer personalized messaging, while the majority of them are willing to share their data in exchange for it. GDPR has ironically created a wave of unwanted and poorly targeted messaging among consumers. This suggests a new era beyond GDPR where transparency and accountability become standard practices.

Microsoft acquires data privacy and governance service BlueTalon

BlueTalon joins Microsoft’s Azure Data Governance group to help enhance its data privacy and governance capabilities. Corporate VP for Azure Data, Rohan Kumar says “this acquisition will enhance our ability to empower enterprises across industries to digitally transform while ensuring right use of data with centralized data governance at scale through Azure.”

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