AppNexus APAC boss: The adtech boom is over and publishers must be given a greater margin


Osborn warns of an ‘adapocalypse’.

The Asia-Pacific boss of AppNexus has declared the boom in advertising technology is over and warned that local Australian operations could face an “ad-apocalypse” as tech vendors consolidate.

Dave Osborn used his keynote at the Programmatic Summit today to challenge the adtech industry, particularly around the rates they were giving to publishers, noting: “Mid-men who don’t add value aren’t going to last”.

On the controversial question of publisher margins being squeezed, Osborn said: “In the post ad-apocalypse, consolidated adtech environment you should put massive downward pressure on rates.

“For the internet to be a better place for consumers far more than 40 cents on the dollar has to go to Australia’s media content makers.”In his speech, Osborn citing the work of Dr Nico Neumann from the University of South Australia to argue that: “The capital that funded the adtech boom has run dry.

“There are too many companies chasing the same dollars with undifferentiated product and confusing the hell out of everyone.”

“And when I say the boom is over I mean it’s over. There is a growing awareness among the people with the money… that programmatic, for the most part, has just shifted the margin from the pockets of ad networks to the pockets of ad networks with tech.

“Many of them don’t add material value and I think that’s a clear chunk of the adtech market.”

In a speech which argued that the adtech industry need to more clearly deliver value for clients and differeniate itself Osborn gave a number of “commandments”, which included not working with tech players who compete directly with media owners and agencies.

“The technology provider who powers your business can’t compete with you,” he said. “In medieval terms this is the same as buying a shield from the guy you are going to war with.

“If your technology partner runs a media business and uses your inventory to grow share at your expense then you shouldn’t work with them.

“If they go direct to your clients in an effort to disintermediate your agencies then you shouldn’t work with them.”

Nic Christensen


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