Home The Big Story The Big Story: Recapping The Year In SPO And Data Privacy

The Big Story: Recapping The Year In SPO And Data Privacy


Supply-path optimization intensified this year on two fronts: Ad tech companies developed products that offered more direct access to supply, and buyers took a closer look at their site lists and removed made-for-advertising sites.

To close out 2023, our associate editor, Anthony Vargas, reflected on the wave of SPO stories he covered this year. And there are two areas to watch in 2024: SSPs building out data-focused products and the effects of SPO on CTV, which has structural differences from the web, like different ad servers and ways to unify demand without client-side header bidding.

Vargas also raises the alarm for the media world, which had a rough 2023. Layoffs were rampant. Search and social traffic declined. And AI threatens to take even more traffic from publishers, as people go to ChatGPT to search for information instead of a publisher’s site.

Then we turn to the year in data privacy. Our managing editor, Allison Schiff, has been leading our coverage this year, with a newsletter that is alternately optimistic and pessimistic – but always realistic – about data privacy. It is also unwaveringly hilarious. Here’s one tip for the year ahead: Treat others online how you’d like your loved ones to be treated, as in, build products that are respectful of consumer choice. (You can put that on a Post-It note.)

And for anyone in advertising whose work involves health or kids, you no doubt already know the FTC and legal world have put your practices on notice. In 2023, enforcement actions and lawsuits against companies, including for HIPPA and COPPA violations, ticked up. Which leads us to Schiff’s final piece of advice: Check the pixels on your website or you might get an unwanted visit from a regulator.

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