As I have followed the RTB and programmatic trade media, I find it generally consumed (when not discussing fund-raising) with discussion about the impact of the technical advances that enable RTB and programmatic buying. I obsess over those advances and I applaud the revolution I believe these technologies are producing for the greater media and communication industry. Before you continue reading, you should know that this isn't another anthem about increasing or decreasing CPMs, transactional friction, latency, measurement or computing power -- but rather an attempt to frame what RTB could and should mean to marketers and brands.
As autumn comes to an end and we prepare for 2013, it's a good time to evaluate the real-time bidding (RTB) industry, and make predictions for the year to come. Programmatic buying is undergoing a massive expansion and as the year ends we find ourselves at the crux of major shifts in the industry, new players entering and older players consolidating.
Much has been said about the Facebook Exchange since its summer debut. Facebook's power as a social media tool and advertising moneymaker are impossible to ignore. But one side of the storyline that doesn't receive as much attention is what the Facebook Exchange means for the future of real-time bidding (RTB). In short, it's a massive game-changer. Many have said that the Facebook Exchange would be the final straw or deciding factor in enticing people to adopt RTB. It's much more than that. This is what will force publishers to use RTB.
I'm a big fan of debates. In fact, they were my favorite part of the 2012 election season. After watching both presidential candidates dance around the issues for months on the campaign trail, seeing them discuss policy in a one-on-one forum was a welcome change. That said, I think real-time bidding could use some debate, too. There's plenty of talk about the RTB ecosystem but, for the most part, discussion about the toughest, most critical issues is avoided. So I want to get the discussion started. I'd like to offer up a debate prompt and some context to get the …
First, RTB in mobile is at a tipping point today. Second, there are significant technological differences between RTB as commonly known and applied in online digital advertising, and RTB in mobile advertising. That said, MediaPost has chosen the right time to offer a dedicated column that addresses the ins and outs of RTB advertising whether for display, mobile or video.
In recent years, two important trends in digital have occurred simultaneously: real-time bidding (RTB) has taken off and revolutionized digital advertising, and the rise of mobile has forever changed the way we interact with digital content. And yet, surprisingly, when it comes to RTB on mobile, we've haven't made a great deal of progress. Even some of the most fundamental questions remain unanswered.
Real-time bidding has proven to be a revolutionary advancement in the display world. But what is it really about? While we know there's a ton of data flowing from one system to another, little is actually known about the communication taking place between the ad exchanges and the various bidders. Let's take a look under the hood of the ad technologies that have forever changed the media-buying industry.