The Big Story: Oracle And Google Roll With The Punches

The Big Story podcast

Owning a business that relies on consumer data is riskier than ever – in terms of both public sentiment and potential regulation.

And this risk has caused Google and Oracle to make structural changes. This week on The Big Story, we look and what happened and why.

Earlier this week, Oracle laid off 10% to 15% of staffers in its Oracle Data Cloud (ODC) unit. Most of those staffers worked on ODC’s third-party data products. Once the lifeblood of ODC, the use of third-party data to target customers had fallen out of favor within the company as growth has slowed, thanks in part to upstart competition.

But ODC, which contributed only a small percentage to Oracle’s overall revenue, exposed the entire corporation to risk. Recall that the penalty for violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation could be 4% of a company’s annual global turnover, and that’s a pill Oracle’s legal team doesn’t even want to think about.

And Oracle’s reorg of ODC mirrors a restructuring with Google’s ad products, where search and display are coming together. Much of the old DoubleClick team have moved on – either to consultative roles within Google (Brad Bender) or to new opportunities outside of ad tech (Jason Bigler).

As Sarah Sluis points out in this week’s podcast, Google’s search revenues have consistently grown by double digits each quarter, while display’s growth has only been in the single digits – while costing more to acquire traffic. Plus, the industry is seeing the rapid dissolution of the cookie, a key component for targeting display ads, thanks to web browsers taking an active role in blocking them.

This week on The Big Story, the AdExchanger team connects the dots, both within each company’s individual reorg, and between the external factors driving these transformations.

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