Adtech & Content will converge

Posted by on January 12, 2021 · 2 mins read

Apple’s shifted view to a more focused privacy centric platform won’t simply change the way advertising is bought and sold. Undercurrents continue to ripple throughout the publishing ecosystem undetected or unobserved.

One major developing undercurrent: content owners will make a land grab for data ingestion points that monetize their ecosystems more efficiently within the hardware owner’s new rules of privacy. Simply stated, developers will start building/buying their own ad networks, and ad networks will start making/buying their own content. Since 3rd parties will have a difficult time doing user-based optimizations without user consent, advertisers’ inability to access private information on their own becomes more valuable.

Larger companies will need to gain access to this user consent within their own ecosystems more efficiently and the best way to do this is create a multi-pronged approach to the users that belong to your ecosystem. If you can’t rely on a 3rd party to gain access to granular data, then the only logical outcome is to maintain an advantage by capturing coveted data on your own. A few good examples of this are: Applovin owning Lion Studios or Ironsource owning Supersonic studios. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the other big hypercasual publishers are thinking about building/buying their own ad networks. In my opinion, there will be a lot of consolidation in mobile adtech and content in 2021, whether that’s ad networks developing their own content or developers scooping up ad networks. It will be a common strategy to control both distribution and content where the synergy is building network effects using underlying joined datasets.

This shift will also emphasize an evolution on how 3rd parties help developers. 3rd parties need to focus less on user data capture that will be regulated, and more on the aggregate data capture that will help businesses make better decisions at the user level. Perhaps the biggest value will be on joins between increased silos on aggregate data. On the surface this shift seems nuanced, but it’s actually a big shift. Instead of capturing data that is user level private, they will need to bridge a multitude of aggregate signals that previously were uninterpreted so developers can ingest datasets that give them user specific advantages in their new strategies.