Home Online Advertising The Shrinking, Audience Buying Ecosystem

The Shrinking, Audience Buying Ecosystem

SHARE:

The Shrinking EcosystemHave you noticed? The ad tech, audience buying ecosystem is shrinking. For all the talk about how complicated the ecosystem is and how many companies there still there are, it’s smaller than it was a year or two ago if you look at the number of VC-backed startups in the ad tech space.

I did a quick count of companies that have been bought between 2008 and today and came up with 57 mergers and acquisitions relevant to digital audience buying. And, I’m sure I missed a few.

If you consider the audience buying space as typified by LUMA Partners’ display chart, it’s not just about PC browser-based display – it’s about mobile, video and social channels – even the search channel as search retargeting has emerged as yet another tactic for the digital media, audience buying specialist. I won’t throw addressable TV in their quite yet, but it’s coming (shameless plug!). And hey, you could add radio and digital-out-of-home for that matter to audience buying. But it’s still early with those two, too.

In The Beginning…

I’d suggest the audience buying “Garden of Eden” was in 2007 when Google bought DoubleClick, Yahoo! bought Right Media and Microsoft bought Avenue A/Aquantive and AdECN. Those are the acquisitions that lit the audience buying fires to varying degrees (yes I know retargeting goes back much further.) and aggregated inventory pools for targeting in an exchange-like system.

Here’s my rough list of the ad tech “shrinkage” since late 2008 – around the same time AdExchanger.com began:

Dissolved

UPDATED 12/7/11

Using AdExchanger.com’s admittedly loose, counting methods, that’s 20 acquisitions in 2010 and 33 acquisitions and mergers already in 2011. More evidence of “shrinkage” momentum, potentially. We’ll see what the fall brings.

Some logos are bigger than other logos

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

When looking at Terence Kawaja’s LUMA Partners’ chart, I’d make a couple of adjustments when thinking about complexity. (By the way, I’m really glad I don’t have to manage that chart. Terence Kawaja, enjoy!)

First, you can you remove quite a few logos with recent consolidation and as LUMA’s dotted red line shows.

Next, some logos represent marketing stacks – or growing ecosystems unto themselves, if you will. Actually, the ad network/DSP world has many of these types of companies with varying degrees of revenue and capabilities. Consequently, some logos are much bigger than other logos.

Also, some point solutions remain extremely valuable. And some, not so much, as they edge toward oblivion. Again, some logos are bigger than others.

I’ve never bought off on the idea that there are too many companies taking too many pieces of the audience buying pie, etc. This is about re-thinking media. And a lot of people have a lot of good ideas.

But, if it makes you feel better, the ecosystem is shrinking while the number of users (advertisers, agencies, publishers – and still more trading desks/ad networks/DSPs) of the ecosystem continues to increase.

By John Ebbert

Must Read

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.

Marketecture Buys AdTechGod (No, Really)

Marketecture has acquired AdTechGod – an anonymous ad tech Twitter poster turned one-man content studio – and the AdTech Forum, an information resource hosted by AdTechGod and Jeremy Bloom.