The latest report is so complex and features so many company names that it’s surprising that MediaScope owner Denise Shrivell even had the endurance to puzzle together this map of the industry.
Included among the myriad businesses on the list is AdRoll, and the company’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Ben Sharp, isn’t surprised by the marked increase in digital advertising services in recent years.
“The reason why there has been such an explosion of ad tech over the last 12 months is because this is the way the market is moving,” Sharp says. “It shows there’s a huge need and demand in the market for innovative and market leading solutions. And there are a bunch of new entrants to the market that are coming in to solve that need.”
As is the case in every industry, demand is met by supply, and the ad tech industry is no different. But what makes ad tech a little trickier is that this isn’t quite a case of pineapples becoming popular and then seeing them in all the supermarkets. What ad tech vendors sell often varies from organisation to organisation, and this can make things complicated.
“I think the ad tech ecosystem is definitely confusing,” Sharp admits.
“Any marketer who is first exposed to the ad tech market is very likely to get confused around what type of solution different vendors might be able to deliver.”
Sharp believes the chaos that currently typifies the industry isn’t unusual, and that the dust will settle as digital advertising matures.
“What we’ll find over time, as we do in any other market, is that there’ll be disruption and expansion and then there’ll be a degree of consolidation in different parts of the market.”
This is certainly happening already, with various start-ups—and sometimes even more established companies—being acquired by bigger players in the market.
“Just look at Adometry, which was bought by Google,” says Sharp. “This is an example of a great business bought by a much larger player in the market.”
As this tech consolidation continues, it will likely reduce the overall number of players over time and thereby eliminate some the confusion that currently pervades the industry.