2018 was a tumultuous year in media and advertising, and our biggest Business Insider Prime stories are a reflection of that.
There were articles about Verizon taking on Google and Facebook, brands like McDonald’s forcing agencies to change how they operate and TV companies trying to solve the ad measurement mess.
Here are our 10 most popular Prime media and advertising stories of 2018.
Mobile-ad company Kargo had built a solid $100 million business selling mobile banners to big publishers. That worked until programmatic ad buying came to mobile and “it slammed us,” said the company. The sudden shift forced Kargo to morph from an ad network to an ad-tech company, which meant turning over a chunk of its staff.
Verizon’s Oath planned to pool together data from inside the company and digital competitors to build a more powerful ad-targeting mechanism that could take on the duopoly, but agencies are impatient with the company’s pace.
The TV-advertising industry is wrestling with a massive challenge: how to measure the audience for its shows on digital platforms. As more consumers watch shows on devices other than television sets, it only gets more complicated.
It’s not all bad. Lauren Johnson compiled a list of people working to tackle the challenges of digital advertising. They include executives from brands, publishers, agencies, consultants, and tech companies including IAB Tech Lab, Adobe and Knotch who are working to solve the variety of problems plaguing the industry.
Mike Shields laid out the story of how Videology, a software maker that placed a big bet on advanced TV advertising, went from raising $200 million to laying off a chunk of its staff and putting itself up for sale.
Giant ad-buying agencies are exploring direct programmatic ad deals with top publishers, which could cut out ad-tech intermediaries while restoring power to ad agencies as their futures are increasingly in doubt.
Tanya Dua showed how major brands including McDonald’s, HP, State Farm and Mercedes-Benz are demanding bespoke, integrated ad agencies, and agencies are being forced to adapt to survive.
Abby Jackson revealed how AT&T is still struggling to stabilize DirecTV, three years after its $50 billion acquisition of the business.
Roku wants to own as much of the connected TV ad ecosystem as possible, which is leading it to throw its weight around with publishers and advertisers – borrowing tactics from the “walled garden” playbooks of Google and Facebook.
Ad agency holding company Dentsu Aegis Network, through a digital subsidiary, is looking to buy more ads directly from web publishers, cutting out several layers of ad-tech companies that have traditionally acted as a go-between in digital ad deals.