New Ad Tech Ecosystem Map Released By LUMA Partners' Kawaja

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LUMA PartnersTerence Kawaja of LUMA Partners has provided a revised version of his ubiquitous display ad tech landscape chart.  Download it here.

Kawaja will be discussing how this landscape might evolve going forward at several conferences in NYC including IAB MIXX at 10:30 am on Monday 9/27 and at OMMA Global at 9:45 am on Tuesday 9/28.

AdExchanger.com: Tell us about this latest update to your ecosystem map. Is this the "final-final"?

TK: By definition the chart will never be final since the space is so dynamic. I am still discovering companies.

A few things to bear in mind. This chart is far from perfect. Organization of such a fragmented and dynamic industry is flawed by its very nature. Many companies operate across several categories and there are distinctions within categories. This chart does not include many of the search players which are increasingly overlapping with display nor does it reflect whole categories such as lead generation and ecommerce which likewise utilize display advertising in their funnel, not to mention international companies which are barely reflected. At some point in the future I may construct an uber landscape which captures these and other players.

How can companies listed, or not, suggest changes to the map?

I plan to post this to the LUMA Partners website and will collect feedback from everyone to crowdsource future iterations. In the meantime, please excuse any placements you believe to be inaccurate.

I believe we are in for some interesting times as the space rationalizes and consolidates along with the advent of new strategic entrants.

By John Ebbert

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13 Responses to “New Ad Tech Ecosystem Map Released By LUMA Partners' Kawaja”


  1. Relevance Police says:

    This map is very confused, and the author does not seem to understand what each of these companies actually do. There might be an ulterior motive to the theory of presenting this as a very complex landscape that they will come and sort out. Due to inaccuracies, this chart should not be taken seriously.

    The most obvious things: like the agencies, publishers he gets right.

    Even simple things like ad server bucket is wrong. Pointroll is not an ad server.

    Here are some examples:

    Spongecell, Choicestream, AdReady are not creative optimization vendors. If he means dynamic creative, then it might be somewhat true. Of the folks listed in that box, they have to be ad servers as well to run such technology. So, ad servers and dynamic creatives have an overlap.

    The so called "Data Optimization" bucket is strange at best, and confused. Data optimization does not mean anything anyway. The list is a combination of companies that are completely different from each other. Jovian Data, Red Aril and Tell Apart are in the same bucket? Quantcast and AdChemy in the same bucket?

    "Verification" and "Attribution" are two completely different things. Why one chooses to put the both of them in one box is beyond me.

    "DSPs" in quotes means what? TradeDesk and Brandscreen are not "DSPs" anyway you look at it.

    And many such oddities.

    All said and done, there is a lot of innovation occurring in display, and a lot of technologists have jumped in. The overall advertising landscape still remains pretty simple, and here is a classification that works:

    Sell Side;

    Publishers -> Different Types of Ad Networks (video, mobile, display et al.) -> Exchanges

    Buy Side:

    Agencies, Advertisers

    Data Providers:

    Provide data to the Sell Side or the Buy side either to get CPMs up for publishers or get campaigns to be more relevant for Buy Side

    On the platform side, we need only focus on the following:

    - Automation of media buying and optimization (for audiences, pricing, optimization.)
    - Automation of creative delivery and optimization - dynamic or otherwise (doing display, mobile, landing pages etc.)
    - Verification tools (really a feature of media buying systems)
    - Analytics platform and data visualization

    Redoing this chart and putting companies into this chart as a platform vendor, Buy Side player or a Sell Side player is the right thing to do.

  2. Jay Sears says:

    I predict an explosion of ecosystem map PPTs. This PPT fragmentation will cause massive inefficiencies in the ability of executives to understand the ecosystem, driving up costs. An ecosystem PPT consolidation will soon be underway--a grand battle between Kawaja, Geffs, Pitz, Anmuth, Coolbrith, Meeker, Squali, Sandler and 300+ other bankers and analysts. I'll be preparing an ecosystem map of the ecosystem map PPTs soon and will be offering advisory services to interpret such said map!

    • ajay says:

      I don't think many understand these maps anyway. So I agree the market is ripe for everyone to make and publish their own view of the ecosystem. I would like to be the first to offer consulting services to explain ecosystem maps (especially for VCs) - so that I can eventually make my own. Then, Jay, you can interpret my map. We can drive consulting services for each other! Rinse and repeat.

  3. The more charts the better. The more confusing the better. Terry does a good job and everyone copies it.

    I love anything that shows the need for a Tag Management System to help connect you all and get you deployed on advertiser / publisher sites faster without falling over. EG- helping all the industry grow faster.

    We've just released our study on what all these tags cost a business. Click on my name to go get it.

  4. TC says:

    How can the author copyright a collection of trademarks that are not his property? (the new version has a trademark at the bottom)

  5. DSP Jockey says:

    Regardless of the accuracy of each box, this is a complicated landscape. The path from advertiser to audience is a tough navigation, even for folks that have been working in the space for years. This is a good visual to communicate that, but I can see the opportunity for clients to be confused and ultimately turned off by the space altogether.

    And the inaccuracy of logo placement is a good reflection of what is actually happening out there - some companies really don't know if they are an ad network and a DSP. I've seen it in action.

  6. Roy de Souza says:

    This is a good industry map despite the criticisms. These maps cannot be perfect. However having one that everyone refers to is useful for the industry. And Terence Kawaja's seems to be that one.

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