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Is AdTech’s new Titan a credible competition with Google and Facebook?




If there’s one truth in digital advertising, it’s Google, Facebook, and everyone else. After all, ad tech duopoly earned 65% of digital advertising revenue in 2021, according to eMarketer.

But can we be at the pinnacle of a trend reversal over the last decade?

According to the November eMarketer report, Google’s share of digital advertising will drop from 36% this year to 35.9% next year. Facebook will also drop from 28.6% in 2021 to 27.7% next year, even lower, to 26.4% in 2023. In addition, Amazon’s challenges are rising, with the same report saying it will grow to 14.6% in two years.

Part of what is happening is that there have also been major changes in the entire ecosystem.

First, as mobile becomes the predominant medium, mobile-first ad networks are playing an increasingly important role in advertising as a whole, reflecting the nearly complete transition from TV / offline to digital over a decade ago. Second, profitable mobile app install niche players are very deliberately acquiring features that are adjacent to their competitors, swayed by Apple’s recent privacy changes and the imminent changes of Google’s rumors. And get bigger, get more first-party data, and compete with big platforms.

But is that enough?

Scott Blinker’s marketing technology outlook shows that the number of companies in the advertising industry is growing … [+] And marketing

Scott Blinker

Liftoff CEO Mark Ellis said in a recent TechFirst podcast that it’s a scaled alternative that really helps mobile marketers build and grow highly engaged mobile audiences, such as Big Tech’s Facebook and Google. Told. (Full disclosure, I co-sponsor a Liftoff podcast.) And most importantly, in terms of not owning any content or other assets that may compete with the customers we serve. Independent of.

Mobile Adtech’s new giant builds capabilities far beyond traditional ad networks, incorporating supply and demand platforms, ad exchange, intermediary, agency services, identity solutions, measurement capabilities, analytics and more. is.

And they first did it, backed by capital from the public market and private equity.

Listed ironSource boasts a market capitalization of $ 9.2 billion and a list of independent acquisitions such as Upopa, Supersonic Ads, Soomla, Luna Labs, Tapjoy, Bidalgo and Supersonic Games. Applovin, a $ 35 billion competitor, recently purchased Twitter MoPub in a multi-billion dollar acquisition and is already a flashy trophy decorated with logos such as Lion Studios, MAX, SafeDK, Machine Zone, and Adjust. Added to the case. Other players like Digital Turbine are also using shopping lists, including AdColony, Fiber, and Appreciate, to build their own market share, features, and customer weapons.

All in all, the previously fragmented world of thousands of mobile ad tech companies is beginning to merge. This is likely to accelerate.

Google and Apple play a role here, says Ellis.

Increasing privacy demands have reduced opportunities for data sharing. The industry solution was to team up, as third-party data cannot be shared, but first-party data can be accumulated.

He says that the Apple SKAN and ATT frameworks, which were officially introduced in April of this year, announced in June of last year, have certainly made some changes. I also think Google has begun to take some steps in a direction aimed at enhancing user privacy regarding user data.

Increasing first-party data means better ability to view, recognize, and record data about devices and people. And that means more ability to target them with ads: what was simple with third-party data.

But that’s not all, says Ellis.

Liftoff + Vungle CEO Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis

Also, as the industry is in the evolutionary cycle of integration and vertical integration, there may be fewer larger partners for marketers who can do more, Ellis said. I added. Leverage both customer data and advertising budgets to increase customer efficiency and enable larger partners to deliver better results on a larger scale.

The scaled partner is the code of a major advertising company.

Liftoff states that it delivers over 1 billion ads a day, but is unaffected by the industry’s trend towards larger integrated advertising networks. It advertised on more than a billion unique devices in its own right and merged with Vungle, which has already acquired four neighbors: AlgoLift, GameRefinery, JetFuel and TreSensa.

Both are owned by private-equity investment firm Blackstone, with approximately $ 600 billion in assets under management, and we clearly feel that one big asset is better than two smaller ones.

At least in advertising.

But there’s a long way to go to Google and Facebook sizes.

If Google processes about 100,000 search requests per second, with an average of 5 ads each, that’s 43 billion per day. And it doesn’t count the Google Display ads that appear in millions of websites and over 600,000 apps. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google runs over 100 billion ads every day.

No other ad network competitor is close to this. Probably except Facebook.

Listen to the interview for this story:

In addition to the issues of the new aspiring Adtech Titan, the rising privacy requirements have brought the good old walled gardens back in style.

Reddit, also known as the Internet front page, recently blocked programmatic advertising access to its inventory. If you want to run ads on Reddit: You need to sign up directly with Reddit. This is becoming more and more profitable for platforms that own their own inventory, such as Snap, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok. Like the famous giants Google and Facebook, they have a deep knowledge of user habits and preferences and are good at ad targeting, thanks to people who have long been enthusiastic about the content and services of the platform. We provide first-party privacy protection data.

Of course, all of this freezes some of the traditional ad networks that thrive on open systems that allow any ad network to sell any inventory.

This may be one of the reasons why some ad networks have purchased an app that can display ads. ironSource purchased Supersonic Games, Applovin purchased Machine Zone, and owns Lion Studios. LionStudios produces games such as Matchington Mansion, Project Makeover, Final Fantasy XV, and Game of War.

And that probably means that many who are full of cash from IPOs and private equity companies will continue to win competitive and complementary puzzle pieces.

Certainly, the combination of Liftoff and Vungle will be.

We have a lot of ideas for new product innovations, but unfortunately there are so many people on the building side of Liftoff + Vungle, Ellis says. We certainly continue to drive many organic innovations and new products, but yes, we augment it with inorganic or acquisition growth.

Dubbed by industry analyst Eric Sfeld, it’s not big enough to be fragmented into a castle of content provided by the content fortress of advertising tools owned in the moat.

And, of course, a castle of content like Facebook, or a castle of services like Google with search, email, and video, is only appealing if people want to get into the castle. Unique advertising tools that provide a unique platform for brands to access people inside the wall are only useful if there is enough to be of interest to the advertiser. So, for example, losing a viewer like Metas Core Facebook for young people can reveal cracks in the walls.

Some of them have another problem: measurable impact.

For some larger technologies, they are self-attribution networks, says Ellis. So, in essence, they score their homework and set criteria for what they did with their customer campaigns. I think customers need to demand more, more transparency, and a unified way to assess the performance of the dollar in one environment and another.

Today, the castle is stronger than ever, thanks to Apple’s privacy initiative, which makes first-party data more valuable than ever and makes third-party data harder to obtain.

But so far, the new Titan mini-Titan continues to grow organically and acquiredly, which could change the balance of power of Adtech.

eMarketer predicts that Facebook and Google will lose market share.

Last month, Facebook blamed Apple’s privacy regulations for lower-than-expected quarterly results, and Snapchat (yes, Snap) blamed Apple for a 25% drop in earnings due to a mistake in earnings. Google has so far diversified its property and advertising experience portfolio over Facebook, and thanks to the fact that searching as a proxy for purchases is far more valuable to advertisers than social media, it’s okay. I have sailed.

But this year, we’ve seen more opportunities than ever in the last few years. Remember that the ad: tech industry is casting new giants.

And duopoly (or duopoly if you include the hard-charged Amazon) isn’t as unattackable as it once was.

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