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Five Trends We Watched in 2016

Posted by AudienceScience on Jan 17, 2017

ASci_HeliosWheel_bluegraymagenta.pngWe can all agree that 2016 has been a memorable year, in more ways than one. We wanted to discuss some of the topics in digital advertising that rose to the forefront of 2016 and that we have a feeling will continue to evolve in 2017.

   1. Addressable TV   

With Magna Global’s prediction that digital media spend will overtake linear TV in 2017, it’s no surprise that addressable television was at the center of industry discussions in 2016. We saw DISH, AT&T and NBCU announce that they were testing addressable TV solutions, setting the tone for forward momentum in 2017.

The catalyst for this is the fundamental shift in the way we consume content. Linear television is being incorporated into the broader digital category as the traditionally siloed mediums are being redefined. With a move away from cable to streaming across connected devices, audiences are changing their viewing habits, as ASci’s VP of Product Strategy, Michael Greene, describes:

Once inventory starts to hit the open market, we can treat TV like any other channel because internet connected TVs are mapped into cross-device tracking. TV becomes just another part of your digital campaign.”

As video evolves, there will be a continued shift towards addressable solutions. AudienceScience is already delivering ads globally across connected devices, and we hope to see a broader execution of addressable solutions in 2017.

Read More: Experts Predict How the TV Industry Will Develop in 2017

   2. China   

eMarketer predicted that by the close of 2016, China’s advertising market will reach $9.29B, second to only the United States, representing a huge opportunity for advertisers.

As the U.S. and Europe become mature markets, advertisers will begin to look into expanding their global footprint into developing markets. China is leading this change, and according to ZenithOptimedia, will actually outpace the U.S. in spend by 2018.

While the depth of the Chinese market is undeniable, it is notorioulsy walled. Fortunately for advertisers, it is becoming more and more open to foreign business operations. As ASci's Michael Greene notes:

“Chinese companies are more open to partnering with foreign vendors and exploring new technology than many other consolidated markets.”

With the opening of AudienceScience Shanghai in early 2016, we learned a few tricks for doing business in China. Read our full set of recommendations on

Read More: What Digital Advertisers Need To Know About China 

   3. Transparency   

One of the widely-debated topics of 2016 was the release of the ANA Transparency Report in June. This opened a broader discussion into the theme of transparency and walled gardens.

Following the release of the report and a series of measurement missteps from Facebook, there appeared to be a certain level of apathy among advertisers in demanding ownership and transparency of their own programs. As ASci’s CPO, Tim Barnes, said:

“Issues like fraud and kickbacks may be getting headlines and scaring some advertisers, but the scariest issue right now might actually be advertisers’ own complacence and a refusal to understand what the numbers mean. Accountability is a great buzzword that can bring comfort to brand CMOs, but those brands need to push to get the kind of accountability they’re after.”

Read More: Facebook's Video Measurement Exposes Advertiser Apathy Across Real-Time Market 

   4. Header Bidding   

As publishers seek a way to better monetize their ads and advertisers demand premium inventory, header bidding is a solution that has become widely discussed in the industry. Header bidding opens a more direct path from advertisers and agencies to publisher. Given the discussion around transparency in 2016, header bidding is an appealing solution to many different players. 

On the Frost & Sullivan Blog, Vikrant Gandhi addresses the evolving trend of header bidding, potential impacts on digital advertising, and best practices, featuring input from the AudienceScience team.  

Read More: Innovations in Digital Advertising - Impact, Cost Implications, and Best Practice Examples For Header Bidding 

   5. Data   

Surprisingly, the topic consistently brought up across 2016, from CES to Cannes to Advertising Week, was data. Data has always been an integral piece of the programmatic puzzle, but this year the focus of the conversation around data has shifted. 2016 was about ensuring that you are using the right data, in the right context, to reach to right audience, as a result, data quality, ownership and targeting were at the forefront of conversation.

In fact, accurate audience targeting was overwhelmingly named as a top programmatic pain point in a proprietary study we conducted in the second half of 2016. We surveyed over 300 industry professionals and asked them to name the top pain point they faced in their programmatic journey. 

Throughout the year we will be taking a deep dive into other “Programmatic Pain Points” identified by respondents in our survey, so stay tuned!

Click Here To Be Notified About the "Programmatic Pain Points" Series