Programmatic Is Still On The March; Counting Employees At Marketing Tech Firms

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Sunny Skies

More than $46 billion, or roughly 83% of all digital display dollars, will be transacted programmatically this year. That’s up $10 billion from last year, according to eMarketer’s latest programmatic ad spend forecast. Private deals, including private marketplaces and programmatic direct, will facilitate the majority of the $19 billion in new programmatic dollars expected to enter the space in 2019 and 2020. “Buyers have come to rely on programmatic as the primary way to infuse their ad campaigns with first-, second- or third-party data insights,” said Lauren Fisher, principal analyst at eMarketer. Read the forecast.  


Because so few ad tech and marketing tech companies are public, “reality checks are hard to come by,” writes Pivotal research senior analyst Brian Wieser. One of Wieser’s favorite back-of-the-napkin measurements is LinkedIn headcount tracking. It’s an imperfect yardstick, especially for those growing more in Asia or countries where LinkedIn has less adoption, but still a useful benchmark. Companies in the sector saw steep drop-offs in year-over-year growth rates, and a subset of 26 pure-play ad tech companies fared worse than the average. That said, some pure-plays are still growing at a fair clip. The Trade Desk was up more than 50% from last year, Yext and HubSpot grew around 30% and Shopify grew 71%.

Strange Bedfellows

Agencies have evolved how they work with brands and with tech partners, but what about with each other? Procter & Gamble’s fabric care business in North America is creating a standalone creative agency comprised of talent from Publicis Groupe ’s Saatchi & Saatchi, WPP’s Grey and Omnicom’s Hearts & Science and Marina Maher Communications, Alexandra Bruell reports for The Wall Street Journal. Read it. P&G cut its overall agency roster from 6,000 to 2,500 in 2017 and will finish this year with half that many, totalling about $1 billion per year in disappeared agency costs [AdExchanger coverage].

Not Kidding Around

YouTube has been accused of violating COPPA, the US privacy law that restricts what online data a company can gather on the 13-and-under set without parental consent. A complaint filed Monday by a coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups estimates YouTube has inappropriately collected data on around 23 million children over “a period of years.” It’s asking the FTC to investigate and levy a $41,484 fine for each infraction – which would add up to billions. Although YouTube’s terms of services do say the site is only for people over 13, it’s easy to lie about your age. And according to one research firm, 45% of kids 8-12 have a YouTube account. “I don’t think any company, whether it’s Facebook or YouTube or Snapchat, can hide from the fact that there are about 10 times more kids online today than there were six or seven years ago when their products were being designed or built,” Dylan Collins, CEO of kid-focused privacy tech firm SuperAwesome, told The New York Times. The complaint comes amid a public reckoning over data collection, from Facebook’s ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal to GDPR coming down the pike in Europe.

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