IPO Low; Programmatic Buyers & Sellers Disagree On Value

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It’s a rough year for tech firms hoping to exit. Research from Renaissance Capital suggests that a mere 11% of all US IPOs this year were held by tech companies, a seven-year low. To be clear, that percentage is not specific to advertising technology firms, but ad tech often falls under the same umbrella. “Many of these private valuations are ignoring the fundamental risks involved in achieving their projections,” Paul Bard, Renaissance’s direct of research, told The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler. “I suppose as long as the big winners produce outsized returns to cover the losers, the party can continue. But the stakes are getting higher.” Read on.

Programmatic Priorities

Programmatic buyers and sellers disagree on automation’s biggest value add, eMarketer reports. A July survey from Technorati suggests ad professionals on the sell side say first-look or exclusive access is programmatic’s biggest draw. But first-party data segments topped the list for buy-side ad pros. The survey itself is a bit of a moot point, since ad professionals from both sides agree on the inherent value of programmatic. But, as eMarketer points out, “Programmatic is evolving rapidly and growing pains have been part of the process for marketers and publishers alike, making such differences unsurprising.” More.

Barone On Ad Blocking

Speaking to Beet.TV, GroupM ad ops chief Joe Barone weighs in on ad blocking. “We’ve reached a point where we can no longer say it’s not an issue in the US,” Barone said. “The real concern is targets like millennials, IT professionals, who are almost invariably using ad blockers,” he added. GroupM is working closely with the IAB, 4As and ANA on potential solutions, “some of which are directly content-related.” The problem could get worse before it gets better, with Apple’s iOS 9 exiting beta on Sept. 16, an operating system that will have baked-in ad-blocking tech. Watch the interview.

Taming The Hydra

According to Bleacher Report GM Dorth Raphaely, digital publishing has a surfeit of channels, and “you have to be able to prioritize which platforms are going to be the most impactful.” Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton has a roundup of publisher opinions about what’s top-of-mind right now, and Marty Moe, president of Vox Media, echoed the same idea: “Different platforms require different approaches, whether that is a small tweak to a format or an entirely different way of telling a story.” Reporters and marketers are grappling with the same gigantic, fragmented ecosystem. More.

Help Me Help You

The Economist takes a look at virtual assistants from companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, and how these AI helpers will manage commerce in the near future. Does it buy the cheapest plane tickets, or use the company’s preferred airline, or beef up on personal AmEx points? Can it be bought? What about the data it has that marketers would love? Read it.

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