What does the Interactive Advertising Bureau do well -- and what does it need to do better? IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg raised the question Sunday evening to kickstart the Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, California. The answers ranged from topics such as ad blocking to mobile to data and targeting on a variety of devices.
Walker Jacobs, COO of Wikia, got the conversation rolling, immediately turning the topic to ad blocking. Jacobs cited load times created by ad serving's daisy chain, and the fact that mobile users resent paying for data to deliver ads, as main reasons for the growth in ad blocking.
The IAB's research shows the two biggest reasons consumer download ad-blocking software is to protect themselves against malware and virus in advertisements, and the lack of speed, especially on mobile devices, where data plans are costly.
While the IAB has done a lot of work in this area, one unidentified attendee stood up to say he still thinks the organization "sucks" at getting it right.
The challenge has been mostly with the two additional types of companies required to serve ads on mobile, compared with desktop: handset makers and telecommunications networks. "Apple is a member of ours, but they have participated in few, if any, standards-setting exercises … and it limits what a trade association can do," Rothenberg says. "The telecommunications networks are the gatekeepers to a lot of the environment and the advertising is not their business," he says -- with one caveat, Verizon's recent AOL acquisition.
eMarketer estimates the U.S. mobile ad market will grow to $42.01 billion, and the U.S. mobile display advertising revenue will reach $21.5 billion in 2016, rising to $26.2 billion in 2017. Mobile search ad spend in the U.S. will reach $18.5 billion in 2016, up to $22.18 billion in 2017, and $25.11 billion in 2018.
One attendee did thank Rothenberg for the Tech Lab, a separate association to house technical standards, and the newly approved West Coast office, which Rothenberg hopes to see open this year.