Podcast: Ad Tech Fan Fic

What if Microsoft, and not Google, had acquired DoubleClick in 2007? What if Facebook hadn’t given up on its Atlas and LiveRail acquisitions? What if YouTube had stayed independent?

In this episode, Beeswax CEO Ari Paparo comes to the studio for a game of “what if,” applying his encyclopedic knowledge of ad tech to a range of alternate reality scenarios.

On the topic of a Microsoft acquisition of DoubleClick, Paparo says, “The initial knee-jerk reaction is that Microsoft would have killed it the same way they killed Atlas.” But that may not have been the case. “Microsoft was primarily a sell-side business … and DoubleClick was a sell-side business also, so there would’ve been some fairly immediate synergies there.”

Don’t forget that back in the day, DoubleClick had already done a few big enterprise software deals with AOL and others. “DoubleClick had the ability to withstand some cultural pressures and some integration pressures that could’ve actually made it fairly successful,” Paparo says. “It could’ve turned out that Microsoft could have made a major play in advertising.”

We also take a look forward, contemplating “what if” scenarios in which Netflix embraces advertising, digital interfaces pivot sharply to voice, government forces a breakup of the largest tech companies – and Harry Potter and Hermione Granger hook up (kidding)!

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