MediaMath’s Predictions for 2019

December 10, 2018 — by MediaMath    

It’s hard to believe we are a little over 12 months away from the year 2020, the start of a new decade, a milestone year as we mark 20 years into the 21st century. With programmatic fully into adolescence, we expect to see the run-up to 2020 as a period to “Do Good, Better” (which happens to be one of our MediaMath values) as we learn our lessons from the GDPR, Cambridge Analytica, poor measurement and continual battles with fraud. From AI to identity, a few MediaMathers share their predictions for 2019 below.

Artificial intelligence

“From ‘omnichannel’ to ‘big data’ to ‘artificial intelligence,’ the buzzwords of corporate strategists, CEOs and marketing executives are once again making their cyclical ~5-year shift.  As ‘AI’ and its ingredients—machine learning, deep learning, facial recognition, natural language processing— become the words de rigueur of the next few years, we are going to continue to see Moore’s Law-like impacts of technological change.

What this means is that those companies who only talked the talk and did not walk the walk in terms of big data (and omnichannel) strategies are going to be left further behind at a quicker pace, as AI relies on big data.  And exacerbating this phenomenon will be the dearth of talent in analytics, engineers, big data and AI, which will lead to further and faster divergence between flourishing and collapsing companies.” — Laura Carrier, VP, Data & Measurement Strategy

“There will be a surge in the use of deep learning techniques by ad-tech companies in all aspects of marketing: customer ad response prediction, audience lookalike modeling, dynamic creative optimization, probabilistic identity tracking, fraud detection and optimal bidding. Deep learning models have been shown to be vulnerable to imperceptible perturbations in data that dupe models into making wrong predictions or classifications. With the growing reliance on large datasets, AI systems will need to guard against such attacks on data, and the savviest  advertisers will increasingly look into adversarial ML techniques to train models to be robust against such attacks.” — Prasad Chalasani, Chief Scientist

Connected TV

Whereas two to three years ago TV buyers were saying ‘talk to my digital buyers about connected TV,’ now both sides are saying we should be the ones to control this industry. There was about $10 billion dollars spent last year that’s forecasted to grow, and the industry hasn’t even reached full potential. We need to stop saying that this is the year of connected TV because we are already there. But we’re at a point where buyers are saying I want to be buying into connected TV and buying into addressable TV not as a value-add to their linear buy but as a distinct channel.” — Mike Fisher, VP/Head of Advanced TV & Video


“Mobile is not a channel anymore, but the channel of the other channels. Mobile is becoming the centerpiece of overall advertising spend, building the bridge between online and offline through location data ( DOOH, TV, audio, desktop, mobile). We expect a big consolidation of location data providers—they’ll partner with DSPs, TV and DOOH solutions to win market share. We also expect location data improvement of quality vs. quantity as the stakes for accuracy become high with attribution and we dig into the correlation between visits and sales. From a vertical perspective, location attribution will become especially interesting for CPGs, which don’t always have access to sales data, and for retailers as an additional down-funnel KPI for them to drive users to in-store purchase.” — Floriana Nicastro, Director, Mobile Product Solution

Data privacy

“We’ll see continued/increased scrutiny of major first-party data players’ privacy, security, anti-fraud, brand safety and election-related practices, with expansion of that scrutiny to third-party companies, and improved industry standards to proactively address these concerns, along with emerging technologies such as connected TV and IoT.” — Alice Lincoln, Vice President of Data Policy & Governance

“I expect certain browsers to continue to restrict third-party tracking and advertising by default. This tips the scales further in the direction of walled gardens and further fragments advertisers’ views of their customers. This also threatens the marketing dollars that fund free and open Internet content offered by independent publishers. Up to 80% of consumer browsing could be in privacy-enabled browsers by EOY 2019.

I see the advertising industry finding technical solutions to defaulted private settings, and I see privacy advocates ensuring consumer preference is respected. Ultimately, I see industry engaging consumers with consent to continue funding the free and open Internet with advertising and commerce dollars. This is a global thing—it’ll be there next year, on the heels of the GDPR and CCPA.” — John Slocum, VP, DMP


“Consent management companies, customer data platforms and data management platforms will continue to become critical components for managing the interaction of consumer preferences, personal information and pseudo-anonymous online identities.  With DoubleClick’s decision this year to stop populating the encrypted UserID field in DCM and DBM for consumers globally, marketers wanting to maximize campaign effectiveness and achieve maximum relevance for consumers must now explore alternative solutions in earnest.” — Ellie Windle, VP, Global Business Development