This past Sunday, the 2016 Rio Olympics wrapped up. All of these amazing feats being accomplished got us thinking, why not celebrate the outstanding achievements of the ‘ad tech athletes’? While it doesn’t include Phelps’ record breaking wins or Simon Biles’ awe-inspiring routine, our industry has not been idle and that deserves a mention (or five).
Most Awaited Standardisation Release – Medal goes to…. MRC’s Viewability for Mobile
The viewability challenge is not only about whether or not to measure, but also HOW we measure. The question of how to measure viewability on mobile has troubled many in the industry and this is why June’s release of the Media Rating Council’s mobile viewable ad impression measurement guidelines was so eagerly awaited. The guidelines for mobile web and in-app are terribly similar to those on desktop (leading some to question what took so long) but finally allow for a standard measurement across all players, leveling the playing field in terms of how viewability is defined.
Most Surprising Government Regulation – Medal goes to… China’s Ad-Blocking Block
At the start of June, China released a set of digital ad regulations for the first time. While most of the discussion was centered around the impact these regulations would have on search (and subsequently on Baidu and Alibaba), one particular regulation stood out – the official prohibition of the use of adblockers. These regulations will take effect on September 1st and we will have to wait and see how it will impact browsers with built-in adblocking, which are quite popular in China.
Most Buzzed-About Topic – Medal goes to… Header Bidding
Rising to fame in late 2015, header bidding was, without a doubt, a topic of heavy discussion all throughout the first half 2016. From headlines stating that it’s damaging to programmatic to its impact on industry players’ earnings, all the way to Google’s rebuttal – it was certainly quite the buzzword in all things ad tech.
Most Exciting Industry Battle – Medal goes to… Facebook vs. Adblock Plus
It’s the battle of the block – who will block the block that blocks?
The back and forth battle between Facebook and Adblock Plus is confusing, yet quite amusing. In early August, Facebook made its web ads indistinguishable from the platform’s organic content, thereby bypassing ad blockers. Instead, they gave users the ability to actively opt-out of targeted ads. Adblock Plus quickly responded by pushing a workaround that blocks Facebook’s ads. In response, Facebook rolled out a code update that disabled the workaround. It’s only a matter of time before the dance continues and yes, we will be here to watch.
Most Unexpected Record Breaker – Medal goes to… Pokemon Go
Pokemania struck again just a few months ago with the launch of Nintendo’s Niantic-developed AR game. Not only did it inspire a massive following of users strolling the streets looking for pokemon to catch, it also broke a few records. With earnings in the first month reported at over $200 million, it surpassed Clash Royale, the other big in-app rising star, by over 200%. It also managed to do what few apps have done before – drive foot traffic to physical locations. This encouraged businesses to utilize the game’s ‘lures’ to lure players to their locations, with innovative location-based campaigns.