As 2010 begins to close, the time for recaps and predictions is getting closer. But before I publish the 2011 predictions lets look back at the 2010 predictions.
Last year the new Ad Tech landscape was just emerging and lot of us who had been at it from the beginning were getting a handle on all the changes. We looked around at the hype, the buzz, the FUD and the BS with mixture of bemusement, wonder and trepidation. Looking into 2010 from 2009 was a very interesting perspective and I really enjoyed rereading my thoughts from that time.
Retrospective nostalgia aside, lets look back at the 2010 predictions:
1. Once Google makes all of AdSense available to RTB (and it is pretty close now) the media buying world is going to change very quickly.
So true, as Google has unleashed its amazing firehose of inventory into the exchange landscape it has changed everything. Google’s recent announcement that their display business in on a $2.5 billion run rate is a testament to how powerful Google is and how important to the ecosystem it is that they support RTB across all their inventory.
2. eCPMs will increase for good publishers whose inventory is transparently available through RTB. This will lead to a flood of publishers dumping their second tier ad network partners and selling all their impressions through the exchanges. A lot of ad networks are going to go out of business. A lot of publishers are going to start to get paid what they deserve.
eCPMs for publishers more then doubled in 2010 and a lot of ad networks simply faded away. We have seen the amount of inventory available on the exchanges grow by more then 10x as publishers have replaced ad network tags with exchange tags. We have gone from a world with 400+ ad networks to less then 10% of that number in the last year. Publishers are finally starting to earn real money from their indirectly sold inventory rather then being arbitraged by middlemen.
3. Brand advertisers will start to make the plunge. Now that it is finally possible to transparently buy display at scale we will see some really big budgets start to move into display.
The DSP sector is expected to handle $500-800 million this year and is growing like crazy. That is real money as far as I can tell and it appears I got this prediction right.
4. The VCs will keep putting a lot of capital into the space. This will mean a lot of well-funded companies aggressively innovating and making the space better for everyone. It is going to get a little crazy.
Yep, the VCs sure did aggressively fund the Ad Tech space in 2010.
5. The agencies will start playing chess. One of them will bite the bullet and buy a demand side platform if for no other reason than that they are afraid someone else will do it first. This will lead to an aggressive fight between the VCs who want to build big companies and the agencies who want to protect their turf.
I was totally wrong on this one. I continue to be surprised at the level of denial in agencies about the value of owning technology as their core businesses are increasingly becoming automated.
6. Microsoft will buy someone. Anyone. They are late and slow into this space and can’t afford to let Google own display too.
Not quite, but pretty darn close considering. Microsoft's $50 million investment in Appnexus is a testament that Microsoft is finally stating to wake up to the fact that Google is once again going to steal a march and completely dominate another incredibly important sector of digital media.
7. The government will continue to scare us with the threat of ignorant regulation.
Very true and it looks like 2011 is shaping up to be the same.
8. Some people we know will get really, really, rich.
Some of our friends (Dapper, Invite Media, Fetchback) did in fact become quite wealthy. It will be interesting to see how 2011 turns out.
9. Some won’t.
10. We are all going to have a ton of fun.
We did have a lot of fun in 2010