This week we continue the tradition of recapping the most notable brands spending on advertising across ad tech platforms, consumer media and B2B industries. And, of course, this is all styled after the most involved carol out there: the 12 Days of Christmas.
On the sixth day of Christmas, MediaRadar sent to me:
12 Engines Revving
11 Boxes Shipping
10 Brands a-Sponsoring
9 Pharmas Placing
8 Planes a-Flying
7 Banks a-Buyin’
6 DSPs Distributing (that’s today!)
And a ???
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Today we hit the halfway mark for the month-long focus on advertisers and ad spend in 2019. While most of our Christmas ‘days’ are focused on brands, todays’ recap takes a slightly different turn: the top demand-side platforms placing ads this year.
Just like those six geese a-layin’ in the original 12 Days of Christmas, these are the programmatic platforms laying proverbial golden eggs for their advertisers.
Beyond the spending on their platform, these DSPs have made their mark on ad tech in 2019. Let’s recap with how the DSPs have fit in the headlines this year.
Google acquired DoubleClick over a decade ago, way back in 2007. Since then, the search behemoth has become the unquestioned king of digital ad dollars. DoubleClick has played no small part in that.
The DSP holds one of the highest market shares according to HTF Market Intelligence, and took the top spot in our own research on DSP placements. On the supply side, nine out of ten publishers use DoubleClick for Publishers. The platform has come under antitrust scrutiny, with calls from presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to “unwind” the Google-DoubleClick merger.
The recently redubbed Amazon DSP (formerly Amazon Advertising Platform) is a relatively unveiled bid at becoming more competitive in the digital advertising space.
Since it’s the only DSP that allows ad buyers to leverage Amazon customer data for targeting, Amazon may just start to see a bigger piece of the pie moving forward. The platform focuses on both display ads and video ads on Amazon’s eCommerce store and owned properties, like Twitch.
Verizon Ad Platform
Verizon’s advertising arm has made headlines a few times this year, with stories ranging from the telecommunications company partnering with Snap Inc. as the provider of 5G to its launch of a machine learning-powered transparency tool for programmatic advertising.
Maybe its most interesting move for ad tech, though, is the launch of its digital OOH campaign planner tool, which will seemingly make OOH programmatic placement more realistic than ever.
MediaMath focuses on digital video ads along with other major players like TubeMogul and DataXu.
The DSP recently made the news when it partnered with LiveRamp, a data platform. The latter’s IdentityLink will integrate with MediaMath’s DSP to provide an “accountable and addressable ecosystem” for targeting and measurement. The combined effort will be called Source, and according to MediaMath’s CEO Joe Zawadzki it’s where the platform will put all new business by the end of next year.
Amazon bought Sizmek back in June, making headlines and setting Amazon up to remain competitive against Google and Facebook. Since June, Sizmek and Amazon have operated separately, with Sizmek’s main value in its Dynamic Creative Optimization platform.
“Rather than compete on ad serving, buying Sizmek is more likely a play by Amazon to bolster its own ad stack,” wrote Alison Weissbrot at Ad Exchanger at the time. “An ad server, which acts as a ledger for all of a brand’s media activity, could enhance Amazon’s attribution and measurement solutions – and pull its biggest customers deeper inside its garden walls.”
DataXu was acquired by Roku earlier this year, signalling the OTT company’s plan to grow ad revenue. “Acquiring DataXu is a natural progression of our ad tech strategy to offer more buy-side tools and to provide the industry’s best holistic TV plus OTT planning and buying solution that delivers better results for TV buyers,” Roku SVP Scott Rosenberg said in the press release.
The deal was a natural fit, given that DataXu was already focusing on connected TV ads before the acquisition.