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Seth Ulinski

Member since December 2012 Contact Seth

Seth leads Ad Tech coverage within the Digital practice at Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR). Prior to TBR, Seth founded AdTech Advisory LLC, a consultancy serving digital marketers, ad agencies, and ad tech vendors.

Articles by Seth All articles by Seth

  • Yahoo - The Oakland Raiders Of Digital Advertising in Real-Time Daily on 10/21/2014

    With the NFL season in full swing, I started thinking about ways I could compare/contrast the worlds of digital advertising and football. It occurred to me how many similarities there are between the Oakland Raiders and Yahoo. Before calling for a "quick kick" and treating this like a 3rd and miles to go situation, consider the following:

  • Ad Tech: Below-The-Radar $15B Market Goes Prime-Time in RTB Insider on 09/03/2014

    Multiple reports indicate the global digital advertising market is on pace to exceed $120 billion in 2014, growing roughly 16% year-to-year. While this is a great topline industry number, I have not seen many reports of revenue captured by advertising technology (ad tech) platforms. Typically estimates aggregate keyword search, digital media, and technology into a single number.

  • GroupM's Strategy To Abandon RTB Is Safe, But Is It Sound? in Real-Time Daily on 07/10/2014

    There's been significant discussion around GroupM's decision to forego open ad exchanges, opting instead for deal IDs and private marketplace deals with "premium" publishers. A couple of key reasons/concerns for going the direct route include viewability and the presence of bots. These two separate types of plaques are having a negative impact on the ad exchange business -- no question about that -- however, there are solutions in the market to mitigate the percentage of "bad" campaign impressions in open ad exchanges. As many know, the IAB has already gone through the painstaking process of defining viewability as well as approving auditors via the 3MS initiative.

  • Taking Programmatic In-House: The Impact For Marketers in Real-Time Daily on 06/17/2014

    It's no secret that global brands are opting to bring programmatic media buying in-house. The list of companies doing this includes Fortune 500 companies such as P&G, Unilever, and Netflix. In addition to the immediate impact on the client-agency-vendor ecosystem, there are some equally interesting developments taking place on the larger technology landscape. Here are a few of the risks that marketers must consider when they take programmatic media-buying in-house.

  • Ad Tech Remarketing Specialists: Acquisitions In Review (Where's Oracle?) in Real-Time Daily on 06/16/2014

    During the current quarter, display re-marketing specialists have been getting snatched up at warp speed. In Q2 alone, a total of three of these companies have been acquired. In addition to their function in the ad tech stack, a key theme with each of these specialists is their core vertical: Retail.

  • Programmatic: More Than RTB in Real-Time Daily on 06/03/2014

    During an interview focused on digital video advertising, the WSJ's head of global ad sales made the declaration that the company did not participate in programmatic and they were "fortunate" for being able to stay clear of it. This gave me pause -- even though the comment was likely in reference to real-time bidding (RTB), it was also an indication that the full definition of programmatic still may not be understood, embraced, etc. (slightly troubling if you consider the IAB outlined what constitutes programmatic from a publisher standpoint last September).

  • Silicon Valley And Madison Ave: Bridge Construction Continues in Real-Time Daily on 05/22/2014

    About six months before Oracle acquired BlueKai for $400M, I wrote an article predicting that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software company would make a significant investment in the ad tech space to the tune of $500-750 million. Admittedly I overshot the price tag, but as most can attest, it's still the Wild West from a valuation standpoint in the world of ad tech.

  • Buyers And Sellers: The Benefits Of An Email Diet in Online Publishing Insider on 04/24/2014

    It's no secret that the buy side (marketers, ad agencies, etc) receive a tremendous number of "cold emails" from the sell side (publishers, tech vendors, etc) looking to engage in business. A few digital buyers have told me they will see 50 to 100 on a given day. It has gotten to the point where buy-side players have resorted to working with email addresses that were created specifically to dodge dreaded vendor email solicitations. For example, a digital marketing exec at an automotive brand ditched the corporate nomenclature ( for a combination of initials plus numbers ( Has it really come to this?

  • Native Is Good, Responsive Is Better in Online Publishing Insider on 03/21/2014

    Understanding how to deliver advertising while taking publisher design into consideration is a logical next step for the industry, and will pay dividends for brands, publishers, and consumers.

  • WPP Acquires Crystal Semantics: Hedging Bets Given Demise Of The Cookie, Or Is Content Truly King? in Real-Time Daily on 12/10/2013

    After firsthand experience selling Crystal Semantics' core technology while working with European-based Ad Pepper Media a few years ago, I can say the technology's ability to analyze page-level content was impressive and well-received by a number of agencies and brands. However, its biggest limitation was simple: it required significant scale and a programmatic-buying platform to unlock the full value.

Comments by Seth All comments by Seth

  • Finding The Right Partners To Help Weather The Storm by Cory Treffiletti (Online Spin on 09/30/2015)

    Great points, Cory.  The ability to analyze a partner's business model is increasingly important.  In some cases, information is available via 10Qs/10Ks.  However privately held companies may not share certain data (for a variety of reasons).  Delivery models (e.g. SaaS, PaaS, Managed Services), rates and fee structures, as well as analysis of related areas may be best served by working with an analyst firm that specializes in vendor business analysis; vendor benchmarks provide a taxonomy so key players within a segment can be compared across a variety of business metrics -- which is what we do here at Technology Business, Research, Inc. (TBR).

  • AOL Acquires Millennial Media, Boosts Mobile Audience Reach by Joe Mandese (Mobile Marketing Daily on 09/03/2015)

    Integration of AOL and MM platforms will require significant resource allocation --  MM was just getting its ad tech stack in order (incl. DSP, Adexchange/SSP, and DMP) while transitioning from its legacy adnet model to a programmatic, SaaS-led model.  Lots of upside for a relatively small investment by Verizon/AOL.

  • Telcos Turning To Programmatic, But Need To Make Better Use Of First-Party Data by Tyler Loechner (Real-Time Daily on 08/21/2015)

    The amount and type of data the telecom operates see is massive. As telecom (and network) companies shift from dumb pipes to smart pipes, the ability to integrate this data with ad tech and marketing tech platforms is key.  While AOL provides a solid suite of programmatic tools (media buying, media selling, attribution) -- data management is currently the weakest link.  It will be intersting to see if VZ/AOL pick up one of the independent DMP vendors that carries an established platform and client base which can help drive data as a service business. 

  • TubeMogul Goes Cross-Channel, Begins Supporting Display Advertising by Tyler Loechner (Real-Time Daily on 07/29/2015)

    Solid roster of clients since original annoucement was made (my analysis:  If TubeMogul can parlay existing relationships, capturing a piece of a $15B display opportunity will drive revenues while its programmatic TV biz develops.

  • Xaxis CEO Says His Agency Trading Desk Is Not A Trading Desk by Richard Whitman (Mediapsssst on 07/22/2015)

    It's easy to categorize Xaxis as an ATD (I did until recently). However, the fact that Xaxis has invested in proprietary IP and maintains a sales team (not just upselling existing clients) puts them in a different category.  And while some may be calling for transparency, Xaxis represents  a different biz model, carrying different levels of risk/reward, etc -- in some regards similar to Criteo, which coincidentally has been labelled the "golden child" of ad tech given its continued growth and profitablity.  At the end of the day, it all goes back to the needs of the marketer and which delivery model suits them best. 

  • Pandora's Programmatic Offering Takes Lumps In OTR Global Report by Tyler Loechner (Real-Time Daily on 07/15/2015)

    Pandora has a unique data set, scale, and consumer's attention -- hopefully they have a multi-prongued programmatic strategy to monetize. Plenty of options that can extend beyond their O+O property/platform.

  • Viewability + Fraud = You're Wasting A Lot Of Money by Tyler Loechner (RTBlog on 07/13/2015)

    Measurability is a double-edged sword for the digital ad industry. While fraud and viewability are often lumped together, they represent two different plagues.  While the buy-side can identify and cast some light to help mitigate -- it would make sense that the supply-side (e.g. publishers, SSPs, ad exchanges) are better-positioned to address these challenges. 

  • Verizon's AOL Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Millennial Media by Tyler Loechner (Real-Time Daily on 07/09/2015)

    While Millennial Media has a handful of capabilities/solutions that could add value to AOL/VZ stack, financial performance does not indicate that the company's shift to a programmatic model is taking hold. The mobile app SDK piece is interesting, but I think Nexage carries just as much weight being a mobile SSP / Exchange.

  • Instead Of Taking Ad Tech In-House, Lenovo Is Giving Ultimatums by Tyler Loechner (RTBlog on 07/08/2015)

    Because services and platforms are so tightly interwoven in the world of digital advertising, it has caused a lot of the transparency and trust issues to date. This move de-bundles the two, I anticipate we'll see more agreements like this as brands seek greater control and visibility (not to be confused with viewability).The enterprise IT world uses the terms outsourcing vs. insourcing ("in-house").  Another model could be on-site managed services -- whereby the agency or vendor performs work at the client's facility.  Not a stretch to see programmatic advertising offered as part of marketing business process outsourcing (BPO), which is in the wheelhouse of IT services players like Accenture.    

  • Did You Hear The One About A Consulting Shop Winning A Media Agency AOR? by Cory Treffiletti (Online Spin on 07/01/2015)

    If media strategy favors agencies and technology strategy favors the IT consultancies -- one could make the arguement that today's data-driven digital advertising, sits in between the two. The fact that adtech (agency world) and martech (IT consultancy world) are converging adds further merit to this playing out. 

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