Ongoing issues with transparency, data breaches, consolidation across the industry with many agencies building their own programmatic buying teams, the dominance of Google and Facebook and the advent of GDPR have all conspired to make it a bit of a challenge over the last couple of years for the online advertising industry.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Digital Media is a resilient sector which has always evolved to meet new challenges, stay abreast of new developments and keep up with new technologies. In fact, the online advertising industry has rolled with the recent barrage of punches and come out even stronger than before. We’re now seeing a new tranche of acquisitions and funding in the sector, a positive sign that companies are once again looking to strengthen their digital media offering, with many brands investing in advertising and marketing technology companies to strengthen their in-house provision. Google has led the charge with the rebranding of its AdWords and DoubleClick brands (now known as Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform); a reorganisation of its flagship advertising products which streamlines, simplifies and updates the offering to help marketers achieve better outcomes.
Recent news headlines have shown us that the industry is in better shape than ever: AT&T recently announced plans to acquire global digital-advertising marketplace AppNexus, which the comms giant hopes will help it deliver online targeted advertising at scale. Then there’s the fact that MediaMath just secured $225 million in private equity funding from Searchlight Capital Partners, which Franklin Rios, global head of corporate development said was evidence of the company’s “successful and accelerated growth plan”. Interpublic Group (IPG) has also confirmed rumours that it plans to pay over $2 billion for database marketing company Acxiom, whilst Vista Equity Partners is all set to acquire a majority stake in ad measurement company Integral Ad Science, which is used by major players including Verizon. Then there’s the fact that Salesforce is reportedly shelling out over $800 million for data analytics company Datorama, in a bid to throw some shade on rivals Adobe and Oracle.
In the last week, Netflix have confirmed a major change to it’s video-streaming service, that it is testing serving video ads for other Netflix series between episodes. Surely there may be initial creative challenges, but it is another example of innovation and change within our industry. Of course this move could also present M&A opportunities.
The digital advertising industry has had to continuously find ways to evolve, develop and disrupt over the years.
At Pivotal, our own Digital Advertising recruitment team has seen a 20% year-on-year increase in the number of jobs we’ve recruited for clients, and we expect this trend to continue as the demand for programmatic and data-driven talent continues to rise. If you’re looking to augment your team with the best digital tech staff in the industry, or if you’re a digital media professional who’s looking for a better fit, then get in touch.
We’ll also be heading to Dmexco, so hope to see you there.
Justin Plowman, Founding Director