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Rick Abell is a featured contributor to Programmatic Advertising: A Modern Marketer's Definitive Guide report.

Here's the complete contribution:


Things are already moving in this direction, but in 3-5 years’ time, we should be in a much more transparent world, where buyers know what they’re buying and whom they’re buying it from.

Will blockchain technology be our savior by then? Perhaps, perhaps not. As the response speed may still not be where it needs to be. But other measures like ads.txt, while a low-tech solution, are designed to introduce more clarity into the full supply path.

This will cut down on fraud and unnecessary third parties, which will also lead to…


This one isn’t exactly a hot take since everyone has been talking about consolidation for months (years?). But cutting down on fraud, spoofed domains, long tail junk, etc. will hurt many SSPs and exchanges that are reliant on low-quality impressions or lack of transparency.

Combine that with things like header bidding, and now SSP/exchange supply becomes suppressed and undifferentiated. If you can get the same exact supply through Source A as you can through Source B, why would both stay around? The providers that survive will be those that add value in other ways, such as through creative executions, optimization, data and prediction modeling, etc.

Increased transparency and consolidation will lead to…

Less overall supply, and higher CPMs

For too long now, the supply-demand gap has continued to widen, as the growth of supply has far outpaced the growth in demand. While there is always talk of ad dollars moving from TV and print over to online formats, why hasn’t this led to an increase in CPMs for publishers?

Yes, people are spending more time online. But this doesn’t nearly account for how much we’ve seen the availability of supply explode during this same time period. Nefariously, there are plenty out there flooding the ecosystem with fraudulent impressions and bots.

While buyers are always working to filter this stuff out, the fraudsters are always adapting their methods to not get caught. Less nefariously, some publishers do things like bog their page down with ads, implement auto-refreshes, feature photo-galleries that load new ads with each click, etc.

These challenges are not new, but with advertisers continually gaining more transparency into ad delivery and site placements, the publishers with the more favorable ad executions will get a higher share of the dollars. That will force out more of the gallery/auto-refresh/ad heavy publishers to change their ways.

Advertisers like P+G are driving change and accountability within the industry in these areas and will continue to help move things in the right direction.

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