Publishers, Ad Buyers Face Big Challenges In 2023: Study

Publishers face many hurdles going into the new year, starting with loss of third-party cookies, judging by the 2023 Industry Pulse Report from Integral Ad Science, in partnership with YouGov. 

Publishers say they are up against the following:

  • Decreasing access to consumer data/cookies—40% 
  • Choosing and integrating identity systems—36% 
  • Monetizing with/without social platforms—32%
  • Maximizing yield—28%
  • Monetizing first-party data—24% 
  • Ads delivered alongside risky or misleading content—23%
  • Providing scaled audience extension, minimizing overhead—20%
  • Contextual targeting—19%
  • Poor viewability levels—8%
  • Ad fraud—3%



Media experts in general offer a slightly different list of digital challenges:

  • Decreasing access to consumer data/cookies—51% 
  • Ads delivered alongside risky or misleading content—33%
  • Eroding consumer trust in major proprietary platforms—18% 
  • Contextual targeting—17% 
  • Supply path optimization/transparency of supply paths—16%
  • Assessment of campaign ROI—16% 
  • Ad fraud—15%
  • Poor viewability levels—15%
  • Cross device attribution/accurate measurement—14% 
  • Difficulty or confusion surrounding buying or selling—11% 

In response to at least one issue, 58% will prioritize contextual targeting to combat consumer privacy concerns and cookie depreciation while targeting audiences at scale. 

Another problem is declining trust in social media.

“IAS research found 77% of media experts agree that eroding consumer trust in major social media platforms may negatively impact their media spend," states Khurrum Malik, chief marketing officer of IAS. 

However, Malik argues that “marketers can't turn away from the allure of reach and engagement that social media can provide.” 

For their part, publishers are at least slightly more optimistic on some fronts—34% foresee opportunities in video games in 2023, and 30% in the metaverse. 

In contrast, 13% of ad-tech respondents see opportunity in video games, and 35% in the metaverse. And 19% on the buy side are bullish on video games and 30% in the metaverse. 

In general, the top media priorities for 2033 are: 

  • Digital audio—54% 
  • Digital video—50% 
  • Social media—48% 
  • Mobile—47% 
  • Ad-supported streaming apps on CTV or OTT—26% 

Who should be in control of brand risk mitigation? Publishers rank fourth, with 30% of all respondents choosing them, the same as last year.  

“Buy-side, verification platforms, and publishers are seen as the most responsible, though internet service providers, supply-side, and demand-side platforms don’t trail too far behind,” the study notes. 

But only 28% feel publishers should be in control of ad-fraud mitigation, down from 32% in the prior year.  Verification tech providers are preferred by 34%, brands by 32% and agencies by 32%.

The study also found a growing demand for CTV--almost half of media experts see potential for the coming year. 

IAS and YouGov surveyed 356 digital media experts who use programmatic advertising in October 2022. The sample was divided as follows:

  • Advertiser/Brand—33%
  • Creative Agency—24%
  • Publisher—20%
  • Ad network/Exchange—8%
  • Media Agency—8%
  • Supply Side Platform—4%
  • Trading Desk—2%
  • Demand Side Platform—1%
Next story loading loading..