Social and Programmatic Spark Debates in 2021 IAS Industry Pulse Report

Integral Ad Science (IAS) just released its 2021 Industry Pulse Report. Surveying over 200 ad industry experts and found that issues around digital video, connected TV, programmatic, and social have rocketed to the top of the ad industry’s priority list.


Based on the IAS 2021 Industry Pulse Report, these key priorities will guide the year ahead:


Connected TV takes a permanent bite out of linear TV

With stay-at-home orders around the globe, Connected TV (CTV) streaming racked up incredible audience growth this year, squashing linear TV’s hopes for a rebound.


88% of those surveyed expect the shift in ad spend from linear TV to digital video/CTV will only accelerate in 2021. Plus, more advanced data and contextual targeting opportunities could help boost ad dollars; 80% of respondents said CTV provides richer data insights for ad campaign optimization compared to linear TV.


Eyes on social platforms

While there’s no denying the power of social platforms, it’s clear that marketers have serious questions about transparency issues and this could impact social budgets next year.


A mere 17% of industry experts said they believe social platforms provide enough transparency around brand risk and viewability. What’s more, 59% of Industry Pulse respondents reported that they are likely to adjust social media ad spending in 2021 due to insufficient media quality metrics.


Programmatic booms, but focus on media quality intensifies

Programmatic continues to gain and shows unprecedented growth opportunities heading into 2021, but marketers still see a potential for risk and the need for more verification.


56% of survey respondents said programmatic is most likely to experience brand risk incidents.


With the advent of new technology and enhanced industry partnerships, IAS expects to see even greater improvements in transparency for programmatic next year.


Mobile gets contextual

While 5G’s impacts on mobile gaming and advertising is top of mind for 58% of those surveyed, a whopping 66% believe that sophisticated tools for assessing content within apps will be what drives innovation, specifically in mobile contextual advertising.


Poised to crumble, cookies still pose challenges

As the effects of increasing data privacy rules have taken hold and media experts have adapted to ensure compliance, third-party cookie deprecation remains a top challenge for nearly half of the industry (49%).


While last year the industry’s focus was on legislation, now advertising experts are weighing the effects of these changes on accurate measurement.


Analysis

“Looking to 2021, as the UK maps out its future from Brexit, the industry will be focused on regaining strength,” said Nick Morley, Managing Director, EMEA, IAS.


“Transparency and brand risk continues to remain a focus in social media and programmatic. This need will be particularly prevalent in Europe, where GDPR, privacy concerns and the phase-out from third-party cookies continues to limit the data available for audience targeting.


“As part of that, AI and Machine Learning will play a crucial role in developing sophisticated technology that is up to near-human comprehension when it comes to contextual and sentiment analysis and detecting fraud. This move towards contextual targeting next year will improve transparency and media quality metrics, which will boost ad spend and maximise ROI for marketers.”


“2020 has proven to be a year of accelerated change in the digital ad industry, with major shifts that typically evolve over years having transformed the entire ecosystem in just a matter of months,” said Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS. “For example, work-from-home guidance has fueled a dramatic increase in CTV viewership with consumers starting to turn to ad-supported CTV to supplement their existing subscription services. This could have long term implications for linear television as marketers expand their media buying repertoire.”

The IAS Industry Pulse Report provides insight into the emerging trends, technologies, opportunities, and priorities that will drive change in digital advertising in 2021. The results are based on the responses of digital advertising professionals representing brands, agencies, publishers, and ad tech vendors collected in November 2020.


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