Remember the Times: AdMonsters Top 10 Stories of 2018

For digital media and advertising 2018 has been a really exciting, but often bumpy, roller coaster ride. As far as ad operations is concerned, blockchain, artificial intelligence, location services, and mobile-first everything are offering promising monetization alternatives and other opportunities that bring publishers and brands closer to audiences in more efficient and meaningful ways. And now with privacy regulation like GDPR in full swing, and the coming of CCPA, consumers are gaining more control over how their data is used, forcing everyone in the ad ecosystem to step up their game.

There’s also major change ahead as the death of Google’s Double Click—merging DFP with AdExchange—gave rise to a feral beast also known as Google Ad Manager. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to chip away at the duopoly offering an array of services to both publishers and advertisers.

But more than any other topic being discussed throughout the industry is cleaning up the programmatic ad supply chain—with topics such as ad quality, brand safety, ad fraud, invalid traffic (IVT), viewability, and much, much more garnering serious attention. Some major efforts from the IAB—specifically Ads.txt and Ads.cert.—launched to tackle many of these issues, but there’s loads more work to be done.

AdMonsters Top 10 Ad Ops Stories of 2018

Let’s take a look back at the top 10 AdMonsters stories of 2018 to learn a little more about exactly what type of year it’s been for brands, publishers and ad tech partners.


1. Skipping the SDK in Mobile In-App

If you want to see veins pop in your mobile developer’s head, just tell him or her you’ve got five new SDKs to integrate stat. Many a programmatic mobile in-app deal has evaporated at the very mention of the dreaded SDK. But what if you could onboard a native demand partner and bypass the need for an SDK? Well, Rick Welch, Head of Programmatic for Flipboard, has a story for you…


2. The Next Stage of Social Strategy: A Q&A With Claudia Page of Dailymotion (Part 3)

Here’s the conclusion of this three-part interview series with Claudia Page, Dailymotion’s VP, Product and Partner Development. Claudia tells Gavin Dunaway that publishers will always need larger platforms to drive traffic to their O&Os. But when pubs look to these platforms, they need not only the traffic, but opportunities to be flexible with their monetization strategies.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 to gain more insights.


3. Delivering Malware Programmatically Is Too Easy

You know what unfortunately is already too easy? Delivering malware to publishers via the open programmatic marketplace. The latest high-profile case involves a fake company called “Amobi” (not to be confused with the legit Amobee) dropping malicious code through a wonky Claritin ad. As tempting as it is to roll your eyes, it’s outrageous that such an obvious fraud easily spread malware across publishers. It’s infuriating to contemplate how common this is.


4. The Drawbacks of AI-Based Dynamic Inventory Pricing

Yes, AI is actually proving useful in chatbots and virtual assistants, and believe it or not: digital advertising. Publishers are excited at having AI comb through their vast supplies of data to optimize inventory pricing in real time on programmatic markets. But hold on, says Roxot Marketing Director Alex Kharitoshin—this practice can have some serious drawbacks.


5. A Road Map For OMS Migrations

We know some of you are still patting yourselves on the back for coming out the other end of the GDPR launch unscathed, but this is ad tech, folks—the next crisis is always coming sooner than you expect. The sunsetting of Google’s order management system DSM means an order management system migration is in the cards for a whole lotta publishers. Have you picked a new provider and drawn up a plan for moving over? Well, good thing we’ve got a roadmap to help you out.


6. Can Sandboxing Defeat Redirects?

Although sandboxing can be a great tool for preventing redirects and other malvertising, some publishers have run into serious roadblocks—most notably, sandboxing disables user ability to click through on ads. As much as we joke that CTR is an irrelevant metric, withholding the ability to click through is a non-starter with most advertisers. There is a workaround, but not all the major browsers have implemented it.


7. Have We Reached the Limits of Ads.txt?

It was reported back in July that 1,400 mobile apps loaded ads on TV Guide’s domain. How did this happen, in an age when everyone’s on board with Ads.txt? Well, the answer is simple, but it’s not what you want to hear: The buyers just hadn’t been scanning those Ads.txt files often enough.


8. AdMonsters Playbook: Demand Partner Evaluation and Ad Quality

Over the last few years, technological developments in the ad ecosystem have evolved to allow more publishers of varying sizes to add more demand partners into their stacks. What’s more, the economic realities digital ad marketplace has brought us to a point where integrating with more than just a few demand partners is table stakes, simply the cost of being competitive. In this playbook, developed in partnership with GeoEdge, we looked at how publishers are deciding which partners can stay and which need to go.


9. Death of the Middleman: How Blockchain Enables Decentralized Ad Selling

We caught up with Kind Ads advisor Neil Patel—cofounder of well-known brands Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics—to find out the thinking behind a decentralized ad network, as well as just how it leverages blockchain to cut out intermediaries, offer enhanced data security for pubs and advertisers, and deliver non-irritating ads.


10. What Is Supply-Path Optimization?

Header bidding is great for publisher revenue, but nasty to a DSP’s tech infrastructure. That’s why DSPs are making decisions about SPO, trying to sort out the “best” queries. Are you okay with DSPs making those decisions for you? If not, read this…