Where Will Ad Tech Be 5 Years From Now?

What if you had a crystal ball to look into the future of ad tech?

Would you look into how the advertising ecosystem will function a couple of years after Chrome finally kicks third-party tracking cookies to the curb? Would you look into whether federal privacy regs pass and what impact that will have on buyers, sellers, vendors — and big tech?

Would you look over to the other side of economic uncertainty to see when ad spend picks up again?

Or, maybe, you’d look into whether AI or Web3, or blockchain ever really live up to their hype and make the supply chain more efficient and transparent.  Or, maybe, you’d want to see how all of this investment in first-party data pays off (or not) two years, no, maybe five years from now.

If only crystal balls could really reveal such things.

At an AdMonsters PubForum in 2022, we asked about 10 groups of ad ops and rev ops professionals to put their best predictive analytical skills to work to identify which trends ad tech can look forward to five years from now. Here’s what four of the groups came up with:

The Pragmatists

Linear Be Gone!

  • Broadcast will be pushed out by streaming platforms. CTV/OTT will reign. Skinny bundles will become fat and Netflix will rule the pub space.


  • Cookies be gone! 1PD key to survival. Contextual instead of 3PD.


  • Instead of ad ops trafficking, they will be QAing the AI tech/automation. (QR: SKU codes)


  • What’s the new flavor?


The Realists

Context Is King

  • Creative choice and media placement will go back to being contextual. It’s powerful. Let’s use it.


  • Holistic measurement that bridges online/offline, publisher/brand, and brand/conversion metrics to provide a complete picture of performance.


  • How will you protect the consumer from being “laser-focused” on targeting?

Virtual Reality

  • The new frontier of tech that provides new opportunities to engage, track and sell to the consumer.


The Futurists

Virtual Reality TV

  • Supply for it.


  • Content available to all.


  • Ad tech’s digital carbon footprint. Brand media dollars to certain supply that is optimizing towards this. Optimized infrastructure.


The Idealists


  • Protecting PPID. Metaverse.

Deep Fake

  • Multiverse.

Green Media

  • Offset carbon cost. Blockchain.

Recruiting + Retraining

  • What happens to non-connected people?