The independent ad technology market is explosive, showing 52% annual growth from 2011 through 2014, with nearly a US$6 billion expected market size in 2014. In addition to revenue growth, the pace of acquisition has been frantic, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).
Acquisitions from publishers reduces the independence of providers, although they continue to have public platforms. Some of the major recent publisher-acquisitions have included Facebook (LiveRail), Twitter (MoPub), Yahoo (Flurry), AOL (Adap.tv) and Comcast (FreeWheel), with strong focus on bringing ad technology in-house.
In addition, consolidation among independents, such as Ooyala’s just announced acquisition of Videoplaza continues to change the landscape. Adobe and Criteo lead this space, with 17% and 15% market share, respectively. Adobe’s advertising business was built from the Omniture acquisition, with additional growth into the video space, while Paris-based Criteo has helped retailers and other businesses navigate retargeting online.
“The moral may be similar to that told of Levi Strauss in the Gold Rush: selling tools to those hunting for gold can be a good and sustainable business,” says ABI Research Practice Director Sam Rosen. “However, the real battle lines are drawn between the publisher’s in-house platforms, and those independents that will help brands, advertisers and agencies to navigate the complex landscape without putting all their eggs in one basket.”