What’s in and what’s out in ad tech? Header bidding, walled gardens, quality, server-to-server, GDPR, user experience, first party data, transparency, privacy…where do they all fit in? Check out our infographic for the hottest 2018 ad tech trends. We have French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese versions, too!


8 Digital Advertising Trends for 2018

IN: Server-to-server SSP Integrations

OUT: Header bidding

Header bidding started as a hack and is still a work-around. Server-to-server SSP integrations help increase yield like header bidding, plus it’s easy to add a new SSP, doesn’t require ad server setup, and reduces latency.

IN: User privacy

OUT: No user control of private data

The threat of fines makes businesses listen; as of May 28, 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will go into effect, fining all non-compliant companies 4% of global turnover. Vive l’user!

IN: The ecosystem uniting in the fight against fraud

OUT: Arbitrage that adds no value

Anti-fraud initiatives ads.txt and ads.cert show the IAB is making an effort to clean up the mess programmatic created. According to Pixalate, 71,288 publishers had implemented ads.txt as of mid-December. It’s a decent start.

IN: Investing in first party data to compete with walled gardens

OUT: Data leakage

The day has come! Revenue growth for companies other than Google and Facebook will rise from +2.8% in 2017 to +4.8% in 2018 and +6.5% in 2019. Alliances and innovation articulated around first party data will lead the fight against against the duopoly.

IN: Better ad experiences for users

OUT: Oversaturation of ads

Programmatic gave us cheap inventory at scale, but it was a little too “quick and dirty”. It’s time for a shower.

fewer ads = scarcity = better UX = better performance = better value for advertisers

IN: Private transactions

OUT: Open Auction domination

It’s time to ride the private transaction train. Over the next year, programmatic direct will grow 26%, and PMP transactions will shoot up by 28.9%, while Open Auctions will grow just 7.9%.

IN: First party data

OUT: Ignoring data that’s YOURS

Ignoring your valuable user data is like walking past a $100 bill on the sidewalk. eMarketer reported that 58% of leading North American companies have gotten the memo and are investing strongly in their 1st party data. Time to play follow the leader, folks.

IN: Transparency

OUT: Black boxes and hidden fees

This one is a no-brainer. If transparency reduces inefficiency, then advertisers get better value and publishers get paid more. We could say “waste is out and value is in”!