2013 has been a pretty interesting year for the digital media world. We’ve seen the exponential rise of programmatic trading whilst also seeing
publishers seek new revenues sources through native advertising. We’ve also seen how brands and advertisers have started to voice concerns over RTB and how the industry has reacted in a positive
manner through the rise of tech companies championing brand safety and looking at context as well as content.
2014 will see more of the same
but I’ve highlighted a few elements I think will create the headlines of the coming year. And I promise not to say that 2014 will be the year of mobile.
- More brands will be building client-side trading desks. I think we will see more marketers wanting to manage and store their own data, whether they do it entirely themselves
or ask for a unique audience buying agreement. Essentially, this all about control, and when brands such as Money supermarket, Procter and Gamble, Kellogg, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark are going
down this route, the industry will have to sit up and take notice.
- Following on from the previous point, this is going to mean
that trading desks are going to need to redefine themselves and soon. If more vendors pitch themselves directly to the client, enabling the process to become simpler, then what are trading desks
actually for? With more and more calls for transparency and clarity, the trading desk looks to be coming under threat in its current guise. The recent merger of Xaxis and 24/7 shows that the big
networks may already be thinking about this.
- Native advertising will continue to grow, and we will see two distinct areas
start to forge ahead. Social advertising, especially on Twitter, will be the big money player it seems but it’s not the only game in town. We will also see more and more publishers employing
commercial content teams as they embrace the idea of retaking control of their fortunes and offer all sorts of differing forms of branded content.
- And to follow on from that point, I’m pretty sure that with the emergence of new platforms to allow advertisers to now link TV spots to tweets, and Twitter’s
stated aim to be more of an ad company than a media company, we will see a growth in linear TV advertising. I’ve seen figures that say that over 90% of all online, TV-related conversations are
now taking place on Twitter so it seems our little blue avian friends will continue to explore ways to make this commercially viable in the coming year. And the TV guys will love this as the battle
for precious screen time will only intensify with the UK release of Chromecast and the new gaming consoles released for Christmas.
- There will be at least one highly publicised scandal involving a high-profile media owner and fake traffic. The rumours are already circulating London about one such possible case involving
some big names. Whether or not this is the product of one too many Christmas drinks or not, I couldn’t say but it seems there could be fire attached to this particular smoke.
As gossipy as this sounds, if this does blow up it could actually be a good thing for the industry. We’ve all heard the rumours, and perhaps
if somebody gets caught it will force us to address the issues once and for all
And with that, I will wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I
look forward to writing again for you in the New Year.