The Ad Tech CEOs Make Their 2016 Predictions


In what has become a Video Ad News end-of-year tradition, we ask a selection of the leading ad tech CEOs for their predictions for the coming year. After all, they’re the ones at the top of the tree and usually have the inside track on who’s buying what, where and for how much. Here are their predictions for what to expect from TV and video advertising in 2016:

Brian O’Kelley, Co-founder and CEO, AppNexus

Brian O'KelleyIf 2015 was the year of ad blocking, 2016 needs to be the year of problem-solving to improve user experience. Across the board, marketplace participants identify latency as the greatest challenge facing video advertising. Studies show that a mere one-second buffering delay can result in an 11 percent reduction in page views. When a video fails to load immediately, visitors don’t know if there is an issue with the content or an issue with the ad. Both scenarios risk user flight. As an industry, we need to be committed to providing best-in-class technology that helps publishers retain and grow their fan base.

Irfon Watkins, Founder and CEO of Coull

iw_smallWe’ve now got to the point where the programmatic market is overwhelmed with SSPs but in 2016 we’ll see video supply platforms bought and/or white labelled and we will see big publishers really pushing to create more video. Media companies creating new content platforms will want to white label or acquire supply platforms to enable them to vertically integrate with the demand side. This consolidation process will take out more of the middle men and create a stronger proposition.

Mike Shehan, CEO of SpotX

mike_shehan_75x75Connected TV inventory will increase. Smart TV sales are growing around the world, with more publishers making their inventory available through CTV and creating more apps. iOS apps will be tailored for the big screen. There will be more content available on Apple TV’s iOS open platform, a lot which will be ad-supported.

In the US, 2016 will be the pinnacle of advertising revenue for linear TV. The Olympics, the elections, more time spent with digital devices, and the underlying shift to digital consumption will see more ad revenue targeted at audiences on all screens and all streams.

Walls will fall. Publishers are concerned about audience fragmentation as the web giants ring-fence data pools and build their own ecosystems. In 2016, flexible platforms enabling direct relationships with media owners’ audiences and advertisers, as well as the ability to leverage first and third party data, will gain favour.

Scott Knoll, CEO and President, Integral Ad Science

sk_small We’ll see more integrated ad measurement in 2016, leading to cross-platform measurement becoming the standard for campaigns. This will go beyond unifying mobile and desktop numbers to also include traditional media metrics. For example, marketers will more easily compare TV and digital ad metrics to gain a holistic view of campaign performance.

According to eMarketer, in 2015 mobile grew to over half of all digital ad spending. In 2016, in-app ads will be spotlighted. Mobile app transparency will become paramount as advertisers demand better in-app measurement and a cleaner mobile ad environment.

Viewability will continue to evolve, and 78 percent of our customers say they are planning to buy/sell media based on viewability in 2016, but the question will shift from “can the ad be seen?” to “is the viewable ad causing consumer purchases?” This means industry-wide re-evaluations, from measuring GRPs to rethinking our assumptions underlining valid impressions.

Pierre Chappaz, Founder and CEO, Teads

Pierre ChappazThe rise of ad-blocking will start to be seen as an opportunity in 2016, not a thing to be scared of. Ultimately the rapid adoption of ad-blockers will lead to their demise, as advertising becomes much more relevant to the user, with sustainable formats that put the power back in the hands of the consumer.

Video advertising is leading the way in premium, respectful ad formats, with publishers embracing native formats that are seamlessly woven into the heart of editorial content. Frequently, we see the need for engaging ‘native moments’, telling a story across all devices throughout the entire journey of the consumer’s day to day life.

For years we have been talking about how we can use data to pin-point consumers, however little has been done to show how data can help brands deliver more relevant and impactful creative. I believe that data will herald a renaissance in the digital creative industry – leading to the best creative messaging and formats we have ever seen.

Jean Pierre Fumagalli, CEO, Smartclip

Jean-Pierre-Fumagalli, CEO, SmartclipIn 2016, Programmatic will ramp up its growth rate into three-digit territory again. However, in programmatic video we will see the death of unchecked open exchanges unfold for branding budgets due to fraud issues. It will be the year of private marketplaces and PMP aggregation platforms, handpicked and controlled by both human beings and technology.

In addition, we will see the rise of real-time addressable TV advertising and with it, even more important the start of truly connecting the dots between the screens, including the big TV.

There will be even faster consolidation. For pure tech players, the industry simply does not deliver enough scale. For pure media and monetization players, there’s not enough control and influence. Only the combination of both will survive!

Ross McCray, CEO of VideoAmp

Ross McCrayCreative agencies will fully embrace programmatic opportunities, developing scalable solutions for utilizing machine learning to tailor creative based to more precise audiences. Data isn’t just for targeting anymore, it will spur a creative revolution to create the right type of ad experience by screen type, as well as for unique environments (like SnapChat). Automation as well as screen and format is accounted for in this scenario.

To keep up with fast changing video viewing trends via apps on mobile devices and OTT platforms: The traditional powers in TV will start to package their programming for advertisers in a screen agnostic fashion. This will also spur wide spread use of their first party audience data to make these deals programmatic. That is the best way for advertisers to buy this type of inventory, as traditional measurement has not kept pace. Linear TV ratings decline, and are having an unfair negative impact on programmers and operators- Going ‘omni’ with data gives them control of their destiny.


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