Transparency Remains Top of Mind (and Other Key Takeaways from Cologne)

Privacy, Transparency and the Future of TV: The DMEXCO Download

Now that some of the dust has settled from a frenzied two days in Cologne, we caught up with Yuri Burka, our Managing Director of Europe, for a download of the biggest trends and customer talking points from the 2018 DMEXCO conference.

DMEXCO Is Not Dead

Despite the legal drama in 2017 that had some questioning whether DMEXCO would even exist this year, and reports that attendance was flat, the conference and expo was as busy as ever for our team.

All of the industry’s big players — and even challenger brands and startups — had a presence on the show floor, where there was the constant hum of business getting done. Our team had nearly 60 meetings with existing customers, partners and prospects alone.

But Maybe it’s Too Compressed

Despite what looked like a great speaker lineup, all of those meetings kept me from partaking in any of the content. And while I’m certainly not complaining, there’s a sense that there may be “too much DMEXCO” to fit into what amounts to just a day-and-a-half.

With more than 1,000 exhibitors, the event has grown to such a size that many people can’t find lodging in Cologne. And between the first night’s festivities — and the next morning spent recovering from them — more than a few of our meetings were capped off with a mutual wish that the organizers would extend the event by another day.

OTT/Video Took Center Stage

Given the telecom-focused ad tech consolidation over the past 18 months — in both the U.S. (ATT and AppNexus) and Europe (RTL and SpotX, or Altice and Teads) — there was non-stop buzz about over-the-top (OTT) video and connected TV.

And while this focus on the “future of TV” wasn’t surprising, the speed at which new startups emerged to capitalize on it was. What remains to be seen is how well the big telcos (and small startups) are able to integrate these video offerings into the well-established ad tech ecosystem.

Out-Of-Home (OHH)

Another popular topic on the show floor was the continuing rise of programmatic OOH. In Europe, the UK and France are the largest markets. Data shows that advertisers are increasingly interested in connecting with consumers in public places, not just online or in the home. And this has recently be evidenced by Global Radio’s announcement to acquire Primesite and Outdoor plus last week.

Privacy & Transparency are Still Top of Mind

Not surprisingly, data, privacy and transparency were recurring themes in our meetings.

While some of the furor around GDPR may have calmed in the U.S., advertisers, publishers and solution providers in Europe are still trying to understand how the regulations have impacted and will continue to impact their businesses.  

There were also concerns about preparing for compliance to the looming ePrivacy directive, when most companies were still wrapping their heads around GDPR stipulations like user consent strings.

Our team was glad to be able to share specific details into how we support our partners on both sides in their compliance efforts (in addition to maintaining our own), as well as to be able to offer solutions like our highly-viewable, high-impact ad units that don’t require user-specific data to deliver strong performance.

On the transparency front, the recent news about bid-caching reignited discussions about what being a “good” technology partner actually means. And there are valid concerns in the market that there is a moving trends towards in-housing.  So it’s important as ever that companies provide both publishers and buyers with trustworthy and transparent solutions. We were proud to be able to give our buying partners clear, simple insights into how we assess the performance of our inventory that goes beyond “baseline” viewability — as well as how they can use it to differentiate themselves.

Looking forward to an even better show next year.