Ad Operations in the media industry are constantly evolving due to technical developments, a shift in consumer opinions and demands, along with new regulations and capabilities. Therefore, staying on top of ad tech trends is hugely important for industry professionals.

In order to prepare for the coming months, we have identified 8 advertising technology trends to include in your 2019 strategy.

1. New Formats for Video and Programmatic Advertising

It is predicted that video and programmatic’s share of the TV market will continue to rise in 2019. Proven as the most engaging way of ad storytelling, helping to accelerate the buyer journey and boost conversion rates, video is likely to remain the most powerful advertising medium in 2019.

By the beginning of 2019, it is predicted that video ad spend will rise to $13.43 billion.
With formats such as outstream and social in-feeds now accounting for more than half of video ad spend, it is no surprise that video ad spend will continue to rise.

The programmatic buying and selling of digital video advertisements will also continue to grow due to brand’s advanced buying practices and publishers growing acceptance of increased automation in the sales process. By 2019, 77% of digital video US ad dollars will move programmatically, with more than 80% of programmatic ad spend on mobile ads.

Most interesting of all, are the opportunities for programmatic within linear TV. As predicted by eMarketer, US advertising will pay $3.8 billion in TV ads in 2019, a total increase of 236% from 2017.

2. Extended Privacy Regulations After GDPR

After GDPR came into effect on May 25th, with the aim of fighting ad fraud, European ad tech companies initially reported a 40% drop in media spend 25% decline in automated ad requests.

GDPR is limiting the gathering and use of third-party data for a variety of purposes including advertising, it was worried this would seriously effect targeted campaigns including the death of personalization in the EU segment and complete transformation of advertising approaches to abstract context-based digital advertisements.

Media sales are recovering to its previous position and adapting, as contextual targeting and first-party data and have forced ad tech developers to transform targeting and personalization has aided this process with programmatic advertising is in the clear. Instead, expect new strategies to emerge for targeted advertising along best practice guides for 2019 which inadvertently provides new opportunities.

What will happen outside the European Union? There is pressure in the United States and the Asia Pacific to tighten privacy and security measures on the ad tech industry. We’ll have to wait and see how do publishers, advertisers and agencies work news strategies and best practices to turn this into an opportunity.

3. Artificial Intelligence for Programmatic Ad Tech

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword for a number of years, as the likes of AI-driven dynamic creative optimization (DCO) presents exciting opportunities to take personalized advertising to the next level.

AI leverages large amounts of otherwise inconclusive data and historical patterns to make advanced, actionable predictions, which from a programmatic advertising context means exciting initiatives are driving forward. It also has its uses for big data along with media buying. Rather than replacing sales execs and ad operations professionals, AI is used to assist them to make better decisions and provide publishers, advertisers, and agencies better recommendations in a multitude of data.

Salesforce has embraced artificial intelligence for sales and marketing with a range of tools for their CRM and integrations. Also this year, IBM launched their own artificial intelligence engine, Watson, in order to make efficient media decisions based on both data and AI for both the US and UK markets, showing a 71% reduced cost-per-click (CPC).

Many experts are optimistic in their forecasts and predict an increased wider adoption of AI across the digital ad landscape including AI-based ad fraud detection systems and ad targeting solutions. It is definitely something to watch for 2019!

4. Omnichannel Marketing & Advertising

With Ad Technologies scaling up and integrating in 2019, advertisers are moving outside the box and their niches, walking with customers throughout their entire shopping experience online and offline. Publishers, agencies, and retailers are moving in-kind to offer an omnichannel ad inventory. Cross-channel targeting was something spoken about regularly with the lead up to 2018, as companies such as Disney and Virgin Atlantic lead the way with ingenious uses.

With the average digital consumer owning on average 3.2 devices, brands must be present in order to engage interest and stay hyper-relevant. Although problems such as reach, targeting, and measurability are slowing adoption rates.

Google aligned and rebranded their Google marketing platform, which included Google Doubleclick and Google Adwords. Now known as Google Ads Manager, the integrated advertising management platform simplifies measurement across devices.

5. The Increased ROI to Programmatic Audio

Programmatic advertising across media categories is expected to continue a positive trajectory, dominating 65% of all money spent on digital media in 2019. It is also estimated that programmatic ad spending will rise a further 19% next year reaching $84 billion.

Programmatic audio is also on the rise and gaining sophistication, as seen this year at the Drum Digital Trading Award won by audio ad-tech Adswizz (recently acquired by Pandora), it is the only audio platform awarded. Podcasting is growing and continues to rise. According to the IAB 2018 Podcast Ad Revenue Study, programmatic is pinned at 0.7% advertising.

With benefits such as low production costs and quick turnaround in comparison to video, it is no wonder the opportunity of digital is only going to grow stronger in the coming years as audio advertising has been proven to drive sales rates. The audience has expanded considerably in the past 3 years and is expected to continue climbing to more than 191 millions listeners expected by 2019.

6. Publishers Integrate Print and Digital Advertising

Although print and digital advertising are not mutually exclusive, these two mediums are being integrated, working in tandem to boost both sales and revenue. Publishers across the globe are dramatically changing the way they do business, modernizing their online channels, changing the structure of their direct and programmatic operations and sales efforts. By 2019, we will see the first results of a major restructuring of ad operations in media.

Print marketing is still alive and well and something businesses should consider supporting their digital efforts. According to research firm Clutch, over 60% of large B2B and B2C companies still utilize print marketing.

Print and Digital go hand-in-hand and when combined can develop successful campaigns, as seen recently by Kurier Digital, who have integrated their application in order consolidate advertising operations for a number of their digital publications such as,, and
With a total monthly traffic of over 35 million page impressions across their publications, this automated process and better data flow is improving both collaboration and efficiency across ad sales, operations, and accounting.

Despite the growth in programmatic ad sales, many print media companies keep direct and programmatic ad operations running in silos. In early 2018, The New York Times, re-engineered their ad sales management structure in which ad operations saw significant changes such as programmatic sales directly collaborating with direct sales reps taking lead on all ad sales.

7. Tools to Combat Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is at an all-time high and expected to peak at $66 billion in 2018, according to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

Market leaders frequently speak about the possibility for blockchain in combating ad fraud, as transactions which run across desktops worldwide mean records cannot be altered with many contributing to the chain. As the chain becomes longer, the more resistant it becomes to tampering, fraud, and cybercrime. Alternative solutions include ads.txt, which has seen a rise in 2018, with 51% of websites adopting ads.txt worldwide.

Leading programmatic exchanges and servers such as AppNexus, Rubicon Project and Smart Ad Server have incorporated this initiative to reduce counterfeiting. It is possible to put safeguards in place using programmatic trading platforms, and ads.txt, as it requires publishers to list authorized buyers. Although there are a number of options for advertisers and publishers to combat fraud, such as anti-fraud departments and specialists and pay for required software, employ outside agencies who will protect the website on a permanent basis, and ensure affiliate network provides sufficient services and appropriate quality, is to analyze data to check whether actions on an advertisers site are human like or not.

Companies are beginning to use blockchain and we can expect others to begin testing in 2019.

8. Expanded Diversification and Personalization to Native Advertising

Advertisers and publishers are constantly diversifying their formats, platforms, and partnerships which benefits the business and the overall digital ecosystem. As native advertising has developed, advertisers and publishers are recognizing there are many differences between the various types of native advertising which will continue to diversify.
In 2019, there will be more clarity on the three main types of non-search and social forms of native advertising including:

  • Branded content
  • Content recommendation
  • Infeed native Display

With dynamic creative optimization (DCO), advertising in 2019 will become increasingly personalized. DCO provides technology which massively simplifies the process of tailoring customers content experiences in real-time. With this capability, advertisers can reach target audiences with unique creative variations. Using DCO in native advertising campaigns can be a powerful tactic, enabling brands to tailor various components of native ads and gaining impact for each impression.

The Promises of 2019 for Advertising Operations Technology

Advertising operations are radically changing business structure and the way publishers manage their ad tech supply chain. From the introduction of new technologies, advanced programmatic ad operations, and new advertising strategies, the industry will continue to grow.

Being aware of these key ad operations trends is essential for future-proofing and continuous development in order to succeed for 2019.
8 Advertising Operations Technology Trends for 2019 Advendio