Industry Initiatives Take Hold as Advertisers Cut to Quality

It’s been an interesting first half of the year for the media industry. So much has happened in a short period of time that those of us who are busy growing hardly have a moment to look back to see where we’ve been; we only know where we are going. We’re in an entirely new and different — and we think better– media market now.

          We all know how quickly consumers gravitated to mobile last year. That shift made many other changes inevitable.

Here’s how it looks from our side of the fence:

1) Display ads are down if not out. Yelp announced last week that it was phasing them out in favor of native and local ads. Long time ad networks selling banner ads are going out of business. Sad to see but inevitable. Local.com out. Beanstock out. Others down.

2) And then there are also standards, brought about by industry initiatives: the MRC’s emphasis on viewability and the Trustworthy Accountability Group’s collaboration to put an end to ad fraud, malware, and piracy. These fraud and viewability initiatives are taken seriously by brands who got tired of wasting their ad spend. They have created a r to quality on the part of advertisers who are no longer willingly buying junk impressions, blind impressions, fraudulent impressions or bots. 

3) Advances in media buying technology have been coming fast and furiously to support this.  DoubleVerify developed their pre-bid technology. Brilliant move. Now DSPs aren’t bidding on and buying junk and fraudulent impressions. They only bid and buy good stuff. DoubleVerify is now in the powerful position of deciding who is good and who is bad. Be nice to them.

4) Facebook led the charge in accustoming users to video, especially on mobile. Where in the past users might post a video on YouTube and send a link over to Facebook, this year all that changed, and Facebook became a real contender as a video hosting platform. Video ads benefit too

5) The technical changes begat content changes, as both brands and agencies began to figure out what kinds of video consumers wanted to see. This led to the rise  of native ads, consisting of content appropriate to the site where they run. For some, this has been a two-edged sword; journalism purists fear the future of a media industry that generates  content by and for advertisers.

The good news is that this cut to quality actually means a lot of the lower quality high volume players in the market are going out of business, while digital ad spending is growing. That means more money spent on ZINC High Impact Formats, and an increase in CPMs for high quality inventory; something we’ve seen happening in the first half of the year across both our display and video HIF formats. It’s been a long time since we saw increasing CPMs like we are now, and we have to admit it makes us happy.