When it comes to real-time advertising technology, I like to think of it on a global scale. The ideas behind real-time bidding (RTB), programmatic exchanges, and all the other industry buzzwords are burgeoning worldwide. This expansion will spark competition, because even when operating on different continents, companies will look to learn from - and outdo - others.
The global expansion is clear. Just today, Reuters reported that Millennial Media is eyeing Latin America for potential acquisitions. TubeMogul has raised $10 million and is opening an office in China with that money, just months after opening an office in Japan. Rubicon Project recently appointed their first ever employee in Italy. The list goes on and on.
I've had people predict that Europe will overtake the United States as the place to be for RTB. Personally, I hope that everyone ends up thinking that the grass is greener on the other side because that will ramp up the competition, which is exactly what this space needs more of.
As both the idea and the physical implementation of RTB becomes a global phenomena, the number of players involved increases. Instead of being a big fish in a small pond, many companies will find themselves wondering whether or not it's them shrinking, the pond growing, or both.
Either way, as the individual players - ad tech providers, publishers, brands, etc. - are forced to do more to be recognized, transparency will increase, technology will improve, quality inventory will surface, and the advertisements will become more creative.
In the end, isn't that exactly what the RTB space really needs to set itself up for the epic future everyone is predicting?