AdMonsters PubForum Nashville: The Live Blog

The 43rd AdMonsters Publisher Forum has taken us to Nashville, where we’ll be spending the next few days wrapping our heads around a particularly intense season in digital media. From what I could gauge from chatting with attendees and sponsors at last night’s dinner, there are loads of questions in the air (publishers’ role in industry initiatives? what to do around regulatory compliance? navigating publisher/agency relationships?)… but people are ready to have some fun with it all. Some were more ready than others to have fun, as it were–we caught wind that some folks had taken a walk over to Broadway, Nashville’s famed honky tonk district, while some others had flown in early to explore the city on Saturday and rest up on Sunday night. In any case, 9 a.m. approaches, which means attendees are trickling into the main room for this morning’s keynote, delivered by Nucleus President and CEO Seth Rogin.

We’ll be live blogging sessions in the main room Monday and Tuesday. Keep refreshing this page for the latest.

9:04: AdMonsters Chairman Rob Beeler has taken to the main stage to welcome the attendees and ask out loud whose idea it was to serve moonshine at last night’s dinner. (Right, that was a thing, too…)

9:05: We look for a theme for every Publisher Forum. This time, it’s: “Are we out of gas?” With all the pressures publishers feel from all corners of the industry, it can feel like we’re living in a country song. Publishers used to focus on one key issue at a time. Right now, it feels like things are speeding up. “One of the biggest moves we’ve made as an industry is a text file. It can feel like The Upside Down,” Rob says.

9:24: Rob has spun through all the introductory details, and now Seth Rogin has taken to the stage to talk about a topic near and dear to his heart: “Real News: Truth and Tech Are the Solutions We Need.” Seth has come up through the New York Times, then Mashable, and now Nucleus, a platform that reaches audiences through their hometown news pub. They’re relatively new: “If we’re not in your city, we’re about to be.” He says advertisers didn’t get tired of news; they got tired of Scotch tape.”

9:27: Why unite local news pubs? Seth is into “mission-based media.” He’s not interested in taking a political side. He started as a writer, but in the days before nationwide health care, he wanted to make sure his fellow writers would stay fed and healthy, which meant he wanted to figure out how to monetize media better. And today, he says, we need more civic engagement, and media is crucial in that.

9:30: The people who live at the intersection of media and technology will drive the future of this industry, Seth says. And in doing that, “we have to stand up to the lies.” Media has always felt a bit uncomfortable, but you have to stand up to the discomfort, he says.

9:31: Mike Shields at Business Insider recently published an article with the headline: “The advertising industry has been living a lie.” That lie is what’s breaking the industry. The industry is not broken in itself.

9:32: The first lie is that audience is enough. If it were true, there are plenty of easier places for advertisers to be seen. You see ads on the walls of a bathroom in a bar. But if you saw a Rolex ad in a bathroom, you’d wonder what happened to Rolex. Consider the internet analogy. Environment matters more than ever.

9:34: Next lie is that people visit thousands of sites. In reality, the average user visits six apps on the regular. You can’t find your audience simply anywhere on the web.

9:34: Next lie is that advertisers don’t want to be around news. The idea is that news is upsetting. But news publications have entertainment or sports verticals. Publishers need to align their verticals. Build an ROI first and thank advertisers for supporting journalism later.

9:37: Next lie is that there is no third option for national audience buying. Now, does anyone in this room, Seth asks, not have a national audience?

9:38: Next lie is that young readers don’t read news. Nucleus has been aligning legacy media brands–news, sports, weather, etc.–and found they’re reaching more millennials than some major digital pure plays. The political climate in the U.S. right now demonstrates young people are very engaged in news.

9:39: Next lie is that brands support morals over money, and will not support content that divides people. We pat ourselves on the back for driving slimy people out of the media industry… occasionally. In reality, a lot of those people were supported by advertisers just fine for decades. Brands decided there was ROI in supporting them. We can be upset about that… but Seth doesn’t want to get upset. Return on investment and return on intolerance are not the same thing.

9:42: We hear brands’ C-level people say one thing, and their media buyers do another. Seth heard one of those such buy-side people say recently, “I had to turn the fraud back on to show the client money.”

9:43: Quality pubs need to understand their power. If someone is making a transaction, you’re in power, and you can take a stand. You don’t want to look back and wish you’d done more. You craft your legacy by taking a stand, by standing up against lies, and there are so many opportunities to do that right now.

9:44: The culture needs media, and the culture needs quality content. Where you are seen drives how you are seen. Being seen on a premium brand site matters. This shouldn’t be a provocative thing to say, but publishers have to explain it. Agencies will tell you they see your audience elsewhere on the web. Publishers have to keep articulating for the importance of reaching that audience on premium sites.

9:48: There are initiatives, like the Future of Marketing Initiative, that are being studied by institutions of higher learning, and they need publisher feedback.

9:51: Media doesn’t need to take a side, Seth says, but it needs to take the side of the truth.

9:52: Rob wants to ask a question. Say you’re a brand, and you want to reach your audience, but you know there are people hanging out on the internet and calling out brands for advertising on certain sites. You’re one impression from getting called out on Twitter. Seth says he’s not interested in shaming brands for supporting bad content. What we need to do is show the ROI for premium pubs is better.

9:55: There’s a question of when a topic becomes brand-safe again, after being at the center of bad news. Seth says there can be a point of healing or something like it. Rob mentioned the Ariana Grande concert shooting as an example. Seth pointed to where Grande came back and addressed her audience.

10:02: Rob is welcoming this morning’s sponsor speaker, Tout Founder and CEO Michael Downing, talking about “What They Didn’t Tell You About Making Video Work.” Tout is not, he says, an ad tech company. They’re a company that helps publishers distribute their video. The problem is that you have about 60 sites in this industry that drive 90% of the business, and Tout is trying to open up the marketplace. There’s premium video out there that needs an audience.

10:06: Let’s talk about the phrase “pivot to video.” Will video save us? Or will we lose our minds trying to make basic video tech work on our sites, create meaningful conversion in video, and make programmatic effective?

10:08: Consumers do love video, and 85% of the audience will engage with it if it’s there. Video increases time on site, and pages with video have lower bounce rates and higher social sharing rates. We’re seeing these numbers accelerate over time, and it’s happening faster on mobile.

10:10: Now, 85% of video consumed in digital is less than three minutes in length, but the average view time for live video is 7 minutes 30 seconds. Live video is complicated where monetization is concerned…

10:11 You have video-rich pubs and video-poor pubs. That presents an opportunity for some of the bigger video pubs to bring their content into new environments. There’s a mix of third- and first-party driving engagement in digital.

10:11: The tech in video can be messy and convoluted. Publishers struggle with basic implementation. Many pubs have attempted to replace their video tech in the last five years, and they often have fewer tech resources in-house than they need. Video creates fiction when you have pubs where engineering is not really part of their core competency.

10:14: YouTube will work for DFP… if you’re using DFP. But tech is the “number one blocker” in making the video market “an elitist market.”

10:15: Conversion and audience reach is hard. You probably won’t drive scale purely on your own sites.

10:17: Monetization is a mine field. Standards don’t play well; companies don’t speak with each other or connect in a meaningful way. The average fill rate from programmatic in video is 18%. We thought it was going to be amazing for fill, and it’s not. Not all video views are treated equally. A video watch page (like a YouTube page) is priced much more highly than an editorial page with a video placed in the content.

10:21: You need an actual economic model around the video you’re pushing out into the web, like pre-roll that monetizes wherever the video goes.

10:23: Tout is looking at how video is performing. They’re taking a lot of publisher feedback and doing the analysis to make it valuable to other pubs.

12:09: Following a round of attendee breakout sessions, we’re back in the main room. Jesse Clemmens, Manager, Publisher Development North America at Facebook is going to share a bit about monetizing OTT in the morning’s second full sponsor session.

12:11: Question is, is OTT a new channel, a repeat of mobile, or a hybrid of both? Jesse thinks it’s a hybrid.

12:13:We keep saying “eyeballs are shifting,” and now they’re shifting to video. Mobile has blown up quite a bit in the last couple years. Jesse hopes we can use learnings from the mobile shift to navigate OTT. OTT revenue right now substantially lags behind OTT consumption. What’s the difference between a roadblock and a speedbump?

12:17: Programmatic infrastructure for OTT is underbuilt. Direct sold teams are really good at selling “video everywhere,” so the need for programmatic infrastructure is relatively small. But there will eventually be more supply than direct teams can sell. Audience flow may be hard to control, but we may be seeing inventory going unsold.

12:19: SVOD is in the lead. But we may hit a tipping point where users decide they don’t need to add more subscriptions to their packages. There will be a shift toward ad-subsidized models at that point. We can see some parallels in digital music, which has become good at delivering content however users want to pay.

12:20: Many digital video ads aren’t ready for the big screen yet. That’s a supply chain problem. Agencies have gotten pretty good at transcoding for mobile, but the large screen/HD is another story.

12:21: Server-side tracking is also becoming the norm. Server-side ad insertion partners are on the rise. That makes transitions to ad breaks smoother, but it moves tracking to the server side too. The counting is not being done by publisher and advertiser in tandem. That makes entities more susceptible to domain spoofing and other forms of fraud, Jesse says. We need to solve for fraud in OTT.

12:23: Cross-device attribution was difficult in the shift to mobile. OTT can learn from it. With OTT, though, you have so many different device types, methods for creating device IDs, privacy settings, but Jesse thinks we’ll figure it out as an industry, and the leaders will be “participatory” in determining how tracking happens. Collective work will need to happen, because we have a lot of open questions still.

12:25: That gives Facebook a good foundational perspective to start working on these problems. Facebook can’t just “go with the flow” because its model demands a people-based monetization approach.

12:27: Facebook has some ideas about reducing supply waste and cross-device selling, based on its Audience Direct product for direct sold ads. Facebook data “is fairly common currency,” but if pubs can sell at higher rates, that’s good for the industry.

1:35: After a hearty lunch, we’re back in the main room for the State of Ad Ops, where the AdMonsters team selected a few choice analogies publishers came up with last night, based on our prompts at the Sunday workgroups. To start, ad tech is to complexity as, uh… Jaime is to Cersei? Is this business that incestuous? Viewability probably is to complexity as a hangover is to an 8 a.m. presentation, though. Or as nailing Jell-o is to a wall.

1:37: Randall Rothenberg has been quoted in the press as saying viewability has been solved, Rob says. Do we agree? Seems like the room disagrees, not to slam Randall. The metrics just aren’t aligned.

1:39: Rob has called a winner in this analogy game: “Agencies are to communicative as Hodor is to Hodor.” Thing is, Rob says, if we were to have this conversation with agencies, they’d probably say the same thing about publishers. We’re not speaking the same language and we need to cross the divide.

1:41: TAG has been a great conversation-starter on the Publisher Forum listserv. There’s a lot of concern, and the conversation will continue… and so that’s why we get analogies like “TAG is to transparency as DFP is to support articles” or “… as a fake ID is to a bouncer at the door when you’re 17.”

1:43: For the next conference, we might have to throw in some ominous music whenever someone mentions GDPR. Especially if we’re saying things like “GDPR is to foreboding as Stephen King is to horror,” or “GDPR is to foreboding as obnoxious is to New Jersey.” Rob points out that not a lot of people got into ad ops to become specialists in E.U. law.

1:46: “Mobile is to lucrative as the Ice Age squirrel is to the acorn:” Rob says that if you have kids, this is going to sound right. But hey: “Mobile is to lucrative as analogy problems are to fun.”

1:49: “Rob Beeler is to ad ops as…” This could get hairy. “Dick Clark is to New Year’s Eve?” Possibly generational. “Atari is to video games?” Burn… Anyway, the next PubForum might have a completely different prompt. We’ve prompted attendees to brainstorm startups that could solve their problems. We try to keep it fresh.

1:51: Time for our next sponsor session, Rob Lewis, Sales Director at The Media Trust, talking about “Ad/Revenue Ops: Time to Reset Groundhog Day.” Rob L. says he was recently at an event where this was the preferred topic at a bunch of buy-side people.

1:53: How sad is it that mobile directs have become boring, Rob L. asks? This is incredibly common stuff, and different parties along the supply chain deflect blame. Is what you’re seeing a source, or a symptom? Everyone runs into the same problems (pixel problems, encryption problems, etc.). Many apparent problems are symptoms of problems upstream. And with GDPR (will authorities go after big players or make an example of smaller players?), security, and fake ads on the scene, it’s going to get harder for publishers.

2:01: With all of this, it’s really important to tell your upstream partners what you want. You know how tight security is at a big office building in a major city? Security should be as tight on your site. You have creative specs. Do your partners know them, and do you enforce them? There should be consequences for not meeting security demands, too.

2:03: Define ad quality specs, whether they’re your own or the IAB’s. Share your policy–discuss with the CISO, and with legal, IT and sales teams.

2:04: Take a scan of your site, all your domains. Recognize who you partner with. Recognize who belongs there. See who you find, and what kind of behavior. And enforce your policies upstream.

2:05: One publisher found 600 domains on their site. They expected no more than 250. Naturally they wanted to know who the heck the other 350 were.

2:07: Rob (Beeler) agrees the CEO or president always has a particular knack for finding malware. Rob (Lewis) says it’s always after midnight or first thing in the morning, too.

2:10: Cookies with a long life span could be awesome if they’re people, Rob (Beeler) adds. But the longer they live, the less likely it is they’re people.

3:37: After the afternoon’s round of breakouts and a few minutes for coffee and snacks, we’re back in the main room for the Digital Media Leadership Awards. Lori Tavoularis (SvP, Digital Revenue and Operations at tronc) is sick and couldn’t fly to Nashville, on doctor’s orders. In her stead, for this panel, John Martin (Managing Director at NASCAR), who Rob is giving the “Newcomer of the Year” award for doing a lot for the community in a short period of time. Tim Messier (Director of Audience Data at Cox Automotive) and Megan Latham (Global Head of Advertising Operations at Bloomberg) are both here, though, and on the dais. Rob tells us Tim was the person who first brought him to an AdMonsters event, back when Rob was a young ops person who didn’t realize there were even other people doing the same job as he was doing.

3:46: Megan started out with a rough idea she wanted to work in advertising or marketing, and ended up in account management, trying out a bunch of different tasks and seeing what she liked and what she didn’t.

3:47: John wanted to go into coaching. He’s still “in sports,” as far as he’s concerned. He’s worked with a number of broadcast and sports/entertainment companies. He didn’t set out to get into ops, but he found it “pretty wild.”

3:49: Tim observes the word “trust” has been coming up all day. You need it at every level of a business. We need to “focus more organizationally on the concept of trust.” We can all benefit by internally developing a philosophy of trust.

3:51: Megan says Bloomberg is a cross-platform org, and that can be a strain for teams. Everyone benefits from trust, and she’s taken it for granted, she says, before Tim mentioned it.

3:53: Rob says that he thought he was doing people on his team a favor when he would say, for example, “You get a chance to work on mobile strategy today.” But to those people, it just looked like more work. Rob had to figure out where to take the weight off, so they felt motivated to try new things.

3:56: John says he’s been surprised to find how often people expected a lack of transparency, talking about transparency like it was a goal.

3:57: Megan says it’s important to reach the right person at the right time, in the right environment, when they’re in the right environment. Environment matters, per Seth’s keynote, and isn’t addressed enough. John points out it’s always a good time to offer a racing fan a beer, though.

3:59: Tim has been working on audience data strategy. Context is important, but at the end of the day you can only sell what you can generate.


TUESDAY, 9:03 a.m.: And we’re back for another full day of Publisher Forum! Editorial Director Gavin Dunaway is launching right into Industry Buzz. What has 2017 been if not the Year of Transparency? Mark Pritchard has been demanding it on behalf of P&G… but what if Pritchard himself wasn’t being completely transparent about his motivations? What if P&G had intended to pull tons of spending out of digital anyway?

9:09: We’re seeing the War of SSPs in 2017, and DSPs are feeling the pinch of header bidding. How much of this was expected? Probably not all of it…

9:10: Ads.txt is ramping up, although at the moment we’re still prepping for the effects.

9:11: Publishers are being more cautious about adding header partners, considering who brings unique demand. Will there be a price war among SSPs in 2018? The take rate for a sustainable SSP business is around 16%. There’s a lot of attention on take rates right now, which have long been… less than transparent.

9:12: First-price auctions are on the rise, with buyers advocating for them and DPS enabling them. But we’re seeing “shenanigans,” with intermediaries mucking up the waters.

9:14: Programmatic guaranteed is interesting, but right now is it like the case of the blind man and the elephant? Programmatic guaranteed differs from one campaign to the next. Is this an opportunity for the sell side to come together and define programmatic guaranteed, and put the heat on the buy side to stick to that definition?

9:16: Blockchain is also interesting, but it’s still nascent for ad tech. There’s a lot of buzz around AI, but right now what we’re talking about with AI is more like machine learning. AI might make life easier for ops, when it comes to creative testing and other factors.

9:18: There’s “a lot of panic” around the Coalition for Better Ads. Native could present an opportunity to stay ahead of Google’s demands, based on the Coalition’s findings.

9:19: Fluid placements could have a bright future. If you can be fluid with content–loading site content in accordance with what you expect will be the best for this particular user–why not with ads?

9:20: Time-based guarantees are in the news, with some in the industry questioning whether there’s much of a future for it. For publishers who are doing it, it’s complicated, and it can require a lot of building–but they’re doing it.

9:23: Eric Franchi, formerly of Undertone and currently an entrepreneur and investor, has taken the stage for a fireside keynote talk with Gavin on “Innovation Arena–The Investor Viewpoint on Ad Tech and Digital Media.”

9:25: Customer success rather than advertiser success drove things for Undertone, Eric says. He was with Undertone during a period of massive change, particularly programmatic (which upturned the ad network space). Undertone neither embraced nor rejected RTB, he says. Programmatic was empowering buyers with technology, and Undertone’s competition embraced it. Mobile was the second major evolution point–10 years ago, he says, we wouldn’t have predicted Google and Facebook would end up in the position they’re in today.

9:30: Eric invests in startups and advises more mature companies. If an ad tech or mar tech business is successful and able to scale right now, they’re in a good position, he says. The field has narrowed through consolidation, the leaders have emerged or remained, and it’s easier to make sense of the marketplace.

9:32: We’re coming off of the era of mobile and social, Eric says. That’s been a huge change and the industry is still figuring it out, but users have spoken. Any screen that can become addressable is in play from a marketing perspective. Interactivity has blossomed. Voice will be 40% of searches in coming years, and this is a huge opportunity. And VR/AR will present opportunities that we can’t entirely predict yet. “You’re not going to be sitting there with a phone for the rest of your life,” he says.

9:34: Gavin says he received a press release about self-driving cars… and the advertising opportunity there. And chatbots are increasingly popular for search in Asia. “You don’t want an answer, you want the best answer,” Eric says about search. You don’t want Google to turn up a whole page of sponsored results. And not a lot of companies are focused on voice right now.

9:36: Google is “showing us what Google of the future is, and it’s soon,” and leaning toward being “completely AI-driven,” says Eric. Alphabet is coming out with more and more devices that present opportunities to interact with the internet, which means more opportunities to deliver relevant search results.

9:38: Eric has a few examples of companies he’s following: Uru Video uses AI to understand what’s happening inside videos, rather than looking at contextual data. In order to do that, the tech needs to recognize shapes in the video. Uru has been looking at how to use computer vision for brand safety. It’s early, but the thing about AI is that it keeps getting better over time, with more input it receives.

9:41: Pulpix, which came out of Y Combinator, is a French company that uses AI to find and recommend engaging video content. You know how easy it is to fall down a YouTube hole. Pulpix “wants to bring that opportunity to every publisher.” You get a playlist of recommended video driven by AI, to keep people engaged on the publisher’s site. And there are obviously implications for advertising as well.

9:44: Why don’t people want to talk about mobile? Gavin asks the room. No response. So people evidently don’t even want to talk about why they don’t want to talk about mobile. Eric says there are a few reasons for this. The infrastructure of mobile didn’t support what desktop could support, where advertising is concerned. You need to be mobile-first, but not mobile-only. It calls for a re-imagining of cross-platform strategies. And the Coalition for Better Ads is recommending wiping out certain ad units in mobile, Gavin points out. Question is, are the publishers in this room hosting the kind of ad units the Coalition is targeting? Rob observes the Coalition is calling for important moves, but there’s some hesitation about how Google is the entity driving those moves right now.

9:51: Data is driving the identity-based world. Customer data platforms are interesting to Eric, he says. You’re creating capabilities for personalization across multiple platforms. It’s interesting for publishers to think about themselves as brands, he adds. Publishers want to connect with users across different platforms, and they need data to do that. That’s where the future is pointing, and publishers need to be in the center of those conversations.

9:55: Google and Facebook are hiring AI talent, and they’re pretty aggressive about doing so. That talent isn’t all that common. It’s interesting to look at other companies, then, and see who they’re hiring. Who’s hiring PhDs?

9:56: Question from the room about the dangers of “runaway AI”–the dystopian view–and how those fears factor into Eric’s investment decisions. Eric says it’s a small concern, but the broader concerns of AI are real. Elon Musk has founded an org to address this.

9:58: IBM is doing really interesting things with AI, Eric says, and there’s room in the market for “a fourth” (up there with Facebook, Google and Amazon). Whether that could be IBM remains to be seen. There are applications beyond optimization engines in AI.

10:05: Now we’re switching over to the next session, FreeWheel’s sponsor session. Geoff Wolinezt from FreeWheel and Megan Latham from Bloomberg are on the stage, and we’re recording a podcast live from the dais, Geoff’s “OK, so…” podcast. Megan has told us a bit about her background. One thing she’s pointed out is that even if you happen to find yourself in a role you don’t enjoy, you still have opportunities to learn.

10:11: “Bloomberg at its core is a technology business,” Megan says. They’re working with a ton of data and tech. Other media businesses are looking to Bloomberg for insights. But there’s a data safety issue when you’re using that much data, Geoff says. Megan explains they draw hard lines around terminal data. They use market data for targeting.

10:15: Sales, ops and planning teams are completely cross-platform at Bloomberg, Megan says. They think about the advertiser and their challenges, not about the platform.

10:18: Bloomberg does a lot of direct business, but they’re growing the programmatic business in tandem. Geoff wants to know how they strategize with partners and products. Megan says they have multiple SSPs partners, but they’re very selective about who they work with. They’re “extremely vigilant” about brand safety, but they are active in the open market and not just PMPs. There are some markets around the world, for example, that are less mature, where the open marketplace is an important place to be.

10:23: Geoff wants to know how Bloomberg handles UX in so many environments. Megan says that with a “fickle audience,” UX needs to be top of mind. Rules (like competitive rules) are different between TV and digital. They have to ask whether they should serve, say, a 30-second ad on digital. Even while setting up a media plan, they were thinking about these issues. Geoff points out agencies are very concerned about this stuff, too. And the six-second spot is becoming more accepted. Megan says they’re thinking about six-, eight- and 15-second spots. You don’t want to spend 30 seconds watching a pre-roll ad for short-form video. When those longer pre-roll ads come up, people will lean away and wait for the ad to end, which we see happening in our day-to-day lives. Six-second ads, when done well, are very memorable, she says.

10:28: You need to think about environments where the user is viewing, says Megan. Can you insert a mid-roll commercial break? How, when and where? Geoff points out that the way he watches video online is massively different from the way his kids do. “People are watching despite how they’re watching.”

10:33: Geoff wants to know if Megan has changed her mind about any her former core beliefs about the industry. She says she used to believe the big, splashy unit was the way to go. She’s learned how to innovate and grab users in a way that’s not “in-your-face.” You don’t need to explode things to be engaging, and at Bloomberg, a CEO is not going to be clicking through on a splashy ad.

10:38: Brian Chisholm from OpenX is on the dais now, talking about auction mechanics. Good auction mechanics are transparent, he says, with both buyers and sellers. Auction mechanics that are not transparent are not so good, and you have to wonder whether their main beneficiary is the middleman.

10:41: OpenX has an auction integrity checklist for pubs. Non-transparent auction mechanics are one point. Is there a “shadow first-price auction” going on? That happens today by manipulating paid-to-bid ratio, which is something DSPs talk about more than pubs, but it;s the difference between the advertiser’s bid and the price where the auction clears.

10:44: Why does this matter for pubs? Well, exchanges are making pricing decisions on pub inventory without pub consent. Return on ad spend could be impacted, and buyers may bid less aggressively, causing CPMs to decline. Rebates might shift to less competitive marketplaces, too. Publishers ought to talk to not only their SSPs (to understand the kind of auctions they’re running), but to DSPs (to get their POV on players in the market).

10:48: Unauthorized resale of publisher inventory is a factor. You want to see one supply path for each supplier. Unauthorized resale devalues pub inventory, exposes pubs to ad quality risks, and opens the door to domain spoofing. Publishers ought to do programmatic test buys of their inventory, communicate with partners, take a hard stance about reselling their inventory, and adopt Ads.txt.

10:53: Question from the audience about DSPs and SSPs consolidating, collapsing into each other. Brian thinks they’ll generally be winnowed down to fewer than 10.

10:55: Rob points out that a lot of programmatic is built around “gaming the system” in one way or another. Will first-price auctions help? If we know what buyers are willing to pay, will that help publishers price their inventory?