In today’s programmatic environment, advertisers are challenged by the rapid evolution of media consumption to find their audiences, while publishers are struggling to package, sell and measure the performance of inventory to offer the aggregated, scaled buying that advertisers want.
As a result, the past few years have brought an unprecedented amount of consolidation. From Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and now Viacom’s merger with CBS, to AT&T’s acquisitions of Time Warner and AppNexus, new media giants are being created in hopes of convening end-to-end offerings that put them at the forefront as the industry evolves.
So, what does this shift mean for our future, and how are these new media companies redefining industry standards?
Consolidating assets to deliver premium content
With the rise of CTV and OTT, the ways in which consumers can access content has increased, putting these new, all-encompassing media companies in a race to create the most engaging and easily accessible content.
In the US, WarnerMedia, NBC and Disney all recently announced plans to launch streaming services and compete for share of content consumption from platforms such as Hulu and Netflix, while ITV and the BBC’s joint streaming venture BritBox has similar intentions in Europe. At the same time, Comcast’s acquisition of Sky – which has recently increased its presence in digital and OTT – signals the company’s global streaming ambitions.
While we still expect collaboration among the industry, each of these examples points toward the value of O&O content. And although content is king, there are a number of other factors such as scale, reach and insights that must be considered in order to succeed in this new landscape.
Deploying technology to solve pressing industry challenges
Having access to the right technology will be crucial, be that through owned channels or collaboration. Technology helps advertisers reach their desired audience and provides media companies with the controls, data, and buyer demand to enable them to unlock the full value of their inventory, ultimately improving consumer experience.
In September 2018, AT&T announced the launch of its advertising and analytics company, Xandr, the result of a merger between AT&T Ad Works and AppNexus, a leading independent ad tech company. Over the past year, Xandr has built on more than a decade of AppNexus’ buy-and-sell side innovation to steadily introduce new tools that create a better solution for advertisers and publishers.
Xandr Invest, our strategic buying platform, offers simplified access to, and tailored buying of, premium, brand-safe content, while Xandr Monetize, our strategic selling platform, enables media companies to unlock the full value of their inventory and improve the experience of their consumers. Each of these tools – along with Community, our premium video marketplace in the US – is tailored towards helping advertisers and publishers thrive during a time of rapid change.
To meet the growing demands of buyers and sellers, we will continue to deploy holistic, premium solutions that focus on solving today’s issues while preparing the industry for the future convergence of TV and digital advertising on a global scale.
Thinking globally, acting locally
High-level needs of advertisers and publishers around the world are generally consistent; however, localised strategies are needed to drive revenue and ensure success. From regulation and measurement capabilities to consumer behaviour across screens, every market has different needs. A ‘one size fits all’ attitude can no longer be accepted.
New media giants must invest in both technology and the people in market to deploy more localised strategies. For example, AT&T gained access to one of the world’s largest marketplaces through its acquisition of AppNexus. Today, we will continue to invest in our technology to meet the individual needs of buyers and sellers all over the world but beyond that, we are investing heavily in growing our local teams across services, commercial and other critical functions in global markets.
This "multi-local" mindset has been a driving force for Xandr, and it’s something other companies will need to adapt to stay relevant.
Preparing for the future of advertising
As we look to the future, we don’t expect the concepts of consolidation and co-operation to slow any time soon. It is becoming clearer that relevance in the market is tied directly to pairing premium content assets with the right technology on a global scale. These changes have indicated a shift from a purely digital advertising landscape to one that is more TV-inclusive. From new formats like pause ads to unique, addressable targeting capabilities and new forms of measurement and reporting, we’re looking forward to seeing how companies will evolve to capitalise on the convergence of digital and TV.