We Can Still Save The World: Future-Proofing Our Industry and Driving Sustained Growth
Remember that scene in The Exorcist where a demonically-possessed Linda Blair’s head spins around 360 degrees as she spitsout profane blasphemies? If you’re like me, that condition has a name: Everyday.
It wasn’t so long ago that digital technologies were being hailed as the saviors of all the world’s ills. Internet apps made micropayments available to Third World entrepreneurs, enabled democratic uprisings to topple dictators, powered the #MeToo movement, channeledsmall donors at scale to upstart political candidates, and enabled children to pay for their college educations by launching global videoinfluencer networks on their smartphones.
Fast forward to 2020, and these same apps are deemed responsible for bad jobs in the gig economy, revenge porn, fake news,resurgent global fascism, epidemics of credit-card hacks, and the evaporation of privacy.
No wonder that every day I — and most media, marketing, and advertising professionals, I suspect — spit profane blasphemies while our heads spin!
So what’s the story, IAB Members — were we foolish to believe that as marketing, media, and advertising professionals, we could save theworld, have fun, and make money at the same time? Are you doing God’s work, or Beelzebub’s? It’s not an idle question.
And there’s no turning back.
What we do as marketers in the next 12 months will profoundly and decisively seal our fate.
We are in a new reality in which all brands, especially incumbents, must onboard the capabilities of disruptors to compete. All of us need todeepen 1:1 relationships with consumers, leverage the capabilities of the digital ecosystem to become more nimble and create data-enriched interactions.
But we also need to be ruthlessly vigilant when it comes to brand safety and consumer safety — because our reputations willrest, in no small part, on our trustworthiness with consumer data, balancing consumer needs for transparency and privacywhile also using that data to create benefits and joy for consumers.
We need to evolve away from the proxy metrics that dominated media planning and buying in the past and toward performance metrics that prize customer acquisition and the building of known customer lifetime value. It requires a concentration on creating and managing excellent customer experiences across all channels — from brick and mortar to digital retail, and from television commercials to community- and influencer-marketing strategies.
And we have to do this while we’re exorcising outdated playbooks and speaking in tongues (or become fluent in the new alphabet of consumer experiences at any rate).
It means understanding and complying with an evolving global regulatory regime focused on consumer privacy and data security. It requiresadopting industry-wide technical standards and best practices for brand safety, consumer safety, regulatory compliance, and frictionless supply chain transactions. It requires ongoing training in a world where the breakneck advances in the technology landscape make our heads spin.
I’m confident there is a clear path forward.
IAB has a simple mission: Open doors with insights, create value from peer and expert networks, improve processes and systems, and growrevenue for our members with these services. What you’ll see in the pages that follow are highlights of the initiatives we drove on our members’behalf in 2019 — as well as what lies ahead for the industry.
I still believe that as marketing, media, and advertising professionals we really can save the world (or at least do lots of good), have fun, andmake money at the same time.
Let’s get to it.
Chief Executive Officer, IAB
The Future of Our Industry is Data-Rich And Full of Possibilities
The past decade has seen the media landscape change more than in the previous century. In January 2010, Netflix was still delivering movies in red envelopes via snail mail, Facebook didn’t have mobile apps, nobody knew who Alexa and Siri were, and the revenue for internet adverting was $22.7 billion.
Ten years ago, roughly only one in five Americans had mobile phones, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report was a mere 49slides long, and digital media was much the same as it had been since the dawn of the commercial internet in 1996. Over the past decade, the foundation of the modern digital media ecosystem would take hold and begin a major transformation that will setits course for the next decade.
Fast forward to 2020, and today more than 5 billion people own mobile phones around the globe, over 4 million apps are available fordownload, and well over half of all internet traffic is mobile. Mary Meeker’s much-anticipated trends report? Now 334 pages and counting.
It’s truly astonishing what can happen in just 10 years.
In the last 10 years, we’ve also seen the rise of advertising exchanges, artificial intelligence in marketing, automated data- driven advertising, and over-the-top (OTT) devices and streaming networks that are taking over America’s living rooms. We’ve also seen therise of a new growth engine we call the direct brand economy built on digital media. These companies are challenging incumbent brands byusing digital technology to create value through low-barrier, capital-flexible, leased or rented supply chains, low-cost targeted digitalmedia, and using data for direct 1:1 relationships with consumers.
What unites all these innovations and underpins our now $100+ billion-a-year industry is one thing: data. Data is the oil of the 21st centuryand the lifeblood of all successful brands, publishers, and marketers. The amount of data companies collect and the ways in whichmarketers use it is only set to accelerate in the next 10 years and IAB is well-positioned to help shape our collective data-driven future.
As AI, 5G, programmatic, and an alphabet soup of other new data-driven technologies continue to fuel the industry, our future selves will barely recognize 2020 ten years from now. We are at the very beginning of this new tech revolution and the possibilities are endless.
But it’s up to us to use the next 10 years to build a future we want to live in.
It’s time for our industry to embrace transparency about what data we’re collecting and why. We need to give consumers control to decide what to share and not share. We need to lean in and make sure we get our governance right as new technologies proliferate. And we need to have ethics built into our thinking around best practices. We all need to be good stewards of data in how we use andprotect it and most of all maintain trust with the consumer.
In 2020, IAB is investing in efforts to help our members and the industry navigate this rapidly evolving landscape with research aroundthe state of data and industry trends as well as sharing best practices. We are actively and continuously creating solutions for ourmembers to better understand the role of data for brands including the nuances of in-housing programmatic, using data responsibly to ensure brand and consumer safety, and how to use first-party data to engage with 21st-century consumers. Our newly established Privacy and Compliance Unit which brings together our public policy, legal, and tech teams is navigating regulation andproviding solutions such as the CCPA Compliance Framework. And IAB is developing training and playbooks to help companies understand the most profound digital transformations.
We are heartened by the commitment from the IAB Board of Directors and our members. Thank you for your ongoing support of thisteam and our efforts.
Now let’s go make the future.
President & COO, IAB
Empowering the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy is IAB’s mission. We are the only organization that does all of the following under one umbrella:
- Convenes leading peer-to-peer networks across all significant marketing and media functions and segments
- Develops critical thought leadership on consumer and marketing trends
- Develops and publishes essential research on data usage and management
- Designs and instantiates essential supply chain technical standards
- Champions and leads the development of public policies with major government institutions
- Possesses a world-class training and learning organization that upskills stakeholder companies
We have focused these unique capabilities on key initiatives to bring value to our members and move the industry forward.
Leading Industry Action on Consumer Privacy and Data Protection
Consumer trust is the lifeblood of digital media and brand loyalty. Whether consumers choose to fund their consumption of digital content and services through advertising or paid subscription models, our industry’s interests are ultimately best served by putting consumer privacy first. To do right for the ad industry, we need to do right by consumers.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. and around the world, policymakers are pushing legislation and regulations that threaten to kill or cripple the digital media industry. Tens of thousands (if not millions) of businesses that collect data about consumers online risk crushing fines if they can’t comply.
Through our IAB Privacy & Compliance Unit, we bring together cross-functional legal, public policy, and technical expertise from IAB and the IAB Tech Lab. One of IAB and IAB Tech Lab’s top priorities in 2019 was preparing the media and marketing industries for the January 2020 rollout of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). CCPA set a baseline for state-by-state compliance that will be debilitating for brands and retailers as well as smaller publishers. Against that harsh reality, IAB has been working tirelessly with our member companies to help them understand what they need to do to comply with such a broad, comprehensive new regulatory regime. And the Privacy & Compliance Unit developed the IAB CCPA Industry Compliance Framework, industry agreement, and technical specifications to help advertising stakeholders meet the requirements of CCPA and build industry compliance mechanisms to assist our members.
Our work isn’t finished with CCPA either. To respond to member companies’ need for a uniform national privacy standard, IAB worked with a coalition of top trade organizations and companies to launch Privacy for America — a first-of-its-kind industry initiative — to pass comprehensive privacy legislation in the U.S. Working with world-renowned privacy experts, Privacy for America developed a comprehensive new framework for nationwide privacy legislation that will fundamentally change the way consumer privacy and security are protected in this country.
IAB’s work in the U.S. Congress has also been steady since the gathering privacy storm began in Washington years ago, and the need for a national privacy standard has never been greater. In its first privacy hearings of the 116th Congress, IAB was the only entity called to testify in both the House and Senate hearings on online privacy, at which we laid out the need for a new federal privacy law. IAB CEO, Randall Rothenberg, highlighted the risk and unintended consequences that could result from ill-conceived legislation that doesn’t recognize consumer privacy and security as a key foundational requirement for doing business in the modern economy. Members of Congress expressed bipartisan support for a new privacy law and discussed the burdens that small and medium-sized companies could face from onerous compliance requirements.
To help members comply with new international legislation, IAB Tech Lab helped develop and guide technical specifications and updates for the second version of the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) which provides a common framework to facilitate compliance with data protection laws for every part of the advertising value chain, from publishers and technology companies to agencies and advertisers.
Driving Growth in the Emerging Streaming Marketplace
The rise of streaming video was a major trend in 2019, particularly as leading media companies like Disney and Amazon have launched subscription and advertising video on demand platforms. According to the IAB/PwC 2019 half-year Internet Advertising Revenue Report, video advertising was a major contributor to growth, with spend climbing 36% year-over-year to $9.5 billion of a record-breaking $58 billion in total U.S. digital advertising revenues for the first six months of 2019.
IAB has worked with our members to facilitate growth in video platforms, bringing together the segment’s leadership through the Digital Video Center of Excellence and driving sales through the IAB NewFronts marketplace platform. Streaming video and audio content (also a major growth area according to the IAB/ PwC report) are emerging as the main formats in which people are consuming media.
To help our members and the industry discover best-in-class digital video creative, the IAB Digital Content NewFronts and IAB NewFronts West play a powerful role connecting buyers and sellers. Confirming the importance of the event as a catalyst for media buying decisions, 59% of ad buyers surveyed at NewFronts plan to increase their advanced TV spend in the next 12 months, with half reporting increases in OTT.
To help prioritize and solve industry-wide issues in the video space, each summer, the Digital Video Center hosts the Annual Video Leadership Summit, an invitation-only meeting that gathers leading industry stakeholders to address the key problems facing the video industry. This year’s focus was Showdown in the Streamosphere, the battle for consumer’s attention that’s playing out with the launch of more and more ad-supported and subscription streaming services as programming, pricing, distribution, and monetization models continue to evolve.
And, to introduce brands and media buyers to the latest in original digital audio programming, the sold-out IAB Podcast Upfront 2019 in New York in September was a one-day marketplace designed for advertisers and media buyers to preview the latest in innovative podcast programming from some of the biggest names in the digital audio arena.
Navigating ad Experiences and Measurement in a Converging Digital Landscape
With new media experiences come new user challenges. In 2019, IAB Tech Lab introduced several new standards for improving the video user experience, including the Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition (SIMID) which enables a secure environment for executing interactive creative over video advertising. SIMID, along with the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST 4.2) for delivery and the Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID) API for measurement and verification, completes the simplification of video ads delivery methods. This separation of functions provides publishers the control they need to ensure great user experiences while ushering in modern cross-device delivery methods — all in a secure way.
Until recently, independent viewability measurement presented one of the most complex challenges faced by mobile advertising. The Open Measurement SDK (OM SDK) has eliminated the need for multiple vendor integrations by supporting all of them. The new OM SDK Version 1.3 is easier to integrate, easier to activate, and better-aligned with MRC guidelines.
As technology enables brands to do more, accurately sizing and sourcing the audience is increasingly challenging yet as important as it’sever been. Rather than trying to find the perfect solution, brands need to understand the most common measurement and attribution approaches available to create the version that works for them. IAB is committed to helping members with measurement and attribution by getting smart on the options, training teams, and identifying the best solutions.
Unlocking the Value of Data
To succeed in the new direct-to-consumer and data-driven economy, it is critical for companies to learn how to leverage their first-party data and optimize relationships with third-party providers.
Here’s a fascinating development of 2019: A majority of companies are in-housing all or part of their programmatic stacks. This is not because programmatic brings efficiency. Rather, they’re moving toward programmatic as a generator of growth-oriented consumer insights.
To help our members navigate this landscape, the IAB Data Center of Excellence conducted the 2019 Outlook for Data, the fourth annual benchmarking report with the research and consulting firm Winterberry Group. The report helps practitioners benchmark their practices and provide perspective on rapidly evolving industry priorities and developments, helping stakeholders plan their future initiatives.
Fighting Fraud and Promoting Brand Safety to Drive Growth
Ad fraud costs companies billions of dollars annually and eMarketer estimates in 2019 that $42 billion in ad spend was lost to it worldwide, up 20% from 2018.
Global standards and industry-wide adoption will help protect brands, and ensure that their ads display where intended, next to the right content in a brand-safe environment. In 2019, IAB Tech Lab announced the completion of version 1.0 of its Data Transparency Standard and the launch of an affiliated Data Transparency Standard Compliance Program. Similar to manufacturers being required to provide a nutrition label on packaged foods, the standard asks data providers to offer details that inform segment quality. Combined with recent essential updates of technologies like OpenRTB 3.0, ads.txt, and more, the industry now has a full suite of technical standards to help drive the growth of the global digital media ecosystem.
Leadership: 2019 Board
IAB Influence: Consumer Privacy, Public Policy & Legal: Leading Consumer Privacy Efforts in a Wildly Volatile Regulatory Environment
2019 was a historic year for the digital advertising industry, as policymakers in the U.S., Europe, and around the world examined industry practices to pass new data privacy regulation. The costs of CCPA and GDPR are starting to get real and be measured, and companies big and small now have a real sense of what’s at stake. Amid this unprecedented scrutiny, the IAB Privacy & Compliance Unit combines IAB’s Legal, Policy, and Tech Lab expertise to help member companies navigate the new regulatory landscape and advocate before state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Through our combination of technical expertise, industry research, and legal and policy acumen, IAB played a unique role in helping policymakers as they craft new rules of the road.
Proactively Driving Towards a Federal Privacy Law
Over two consecutive days of testimony before the House and Senate, IAB’s Randall Rothenberg and Dave Grimaldi urged Congress to pass legislation to create a federal regulatory framework around privacy that will protect consumers and avoid the risk of a patchwork of conflicting and damaging state laws.
IAB took a leading role in calling for clear prohibitions of certain data practices, and, in doing so, demonstrated a commitment to protecting all American citizens. As a result, IAB was a respected and trusted voice in Congress in 2019, and IAB testimony laid the groundwork for the launch of Privacy for America.
Launch of Privacy for America
To build the case for a uniform national privacy standard, IAB worked with a coalition of trade organizations and companies to launch Privacy for America — a cross-sectoral industry initiative to pass comprehensive privacy legislation in the U.S. Working in partnership with world-renowned privacy experts, Privacy for America developed a comprehensive new framework for nationwide privacy legislation that would fundamentally change the way consumer privacy and security are protected in this country.
To help businesses comply with the complex California legislation, and to promote the principles of transparency, accountability, and choice that are the basis of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), IAB released the IAB CCPA Compliance Framework for Publishers & Technology Companies, in 2019 ahead of the 1/1/2020 legislation effective date. The IAB Privacy & Compliance Unit has brought together cross-functional legal, public policy, and technical expertise from IAB and the IAB Tech Lab, an gathered industry stakeholders to develop the CCPA Compliance Framework, Limited Service Provider Agreement, and tech specs to help companies meet the requirements of CCPA. The Framework provides consumers with greater clarity and control over the use of their data.
IAB is advocating for a federal level data privacy law to avoid a patchwork of state laws on consumer privacy, but that will take time. In the meantime, IAB and IAB Tech Lab have been helping our member companies adapt to the new regulatory landscape by getting ready and offering educational support to encourage rapid marketplace compliance and adoption of the CCPA Compliance Framework. IAB hosted two Legal Summits and a series of webinars for members and brands, gathering 1,000 participants to learn about CCPA, GDPR, Congress, and More: How IAB Helps You Navigate the New Regulatory and Privacy Landscape to help prepare for the impact of CCPA, GDPR, and other regulations at the state, federal, and global level. IAB has been a strong advocate for increasing consumer trust and transparency in the digital media and marketing landscape for more than 20 years, and this is another example of our commitment. IAB has corralled legal and public policy experts, as well as some of the best and brightest in ad technology, to create a critical tool in meeting CCPA’s stringent guidelines for the benefit of both the industry and the consumers it serves.
Advocacy Across the States
Following the passage of CCPA, IAB accurately predicted that many other state legislatures would propose privacy legislation of their own. In 2019, IAB helped educate local lawmakers on the intricacies of data privacy law to craft effective laws that differentiate between good and bad data practices, but avoid unintentionally inhibiting legitimate and privacy-mindful digital advertising practices. Through letter writing campaigns, member fly-ins, and many individual meetings with key lawmakers, IAB worked on behalf of our members in California, Washington, Texas, Nevada, and New Jersey, among other states.
The IAB Public Policy Office has also coordinated a global policy strategy with international counterparts to more effectively advocate for the digital advertising industry before foreign governmental agencies.
The Direct-to-Consumer Brand Landscape: Thriving in the New Direct Brand Economy
At IAB, we firmly believe that what helps one set of stakeholders in the ecosystem helps everyone. For instance, all companies benefit from consistent consumer privacy regulation, reliable terminology, consumer-elevating community marketing, and OTT advertising.
As these capabilities must be resident across the marketing- media ecosystem, we opened our membership to brands and now have over 120 brand members. Having brands in the room elevates the conversation with publishers, platforms, and tech companies. IAB is an expertise-infused big tent, and we believe all companies will benefit from brand membership.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed a record rise of direct brands — disruptor companies that create value through direct relationships with consumers. These direct brands have forever changed the marketing landscape, and all brands, especially incumbents, must onboard the capabilities of disruptors to compete.
To help our entire industry and digital ecosystem navigate this dynamic direct brand landscape, IAB championed a raft of initiatives and events in 2019. At the sold-out IAB Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM) in February 2019 in Phoenix, over 1,100 brand marketers, publishers, and digital media and advertising leaders convened to explore the Theory of Revolution: Sparking Growth in the Direct Brand Economy. How to Build a 21st Century Brand was released at the event, the second version of the IAB Direct Brand Economy report, which provides an in-depth illustration and analysis of how direct brands are driving a tremendous transformation in the way consumer goods and services are created,marketed, and sold. The IAB 250: Direct Brands to Watch were also announced at ALM, based on a first-of- its-kind analysis pinpointing the most important direct brands to watch in the U.S. economy.
To help our members thrive in this fast-changing marketing landscape, IAB explored the effect of direct brand companies on the video landscape and innovative media at the IAB NewFronts West in Los Angeles, and the effect of influencers in the direct brand economy at the Influencer/UGC Marketing Day. The world’s largest gathering of direct brands, with over 1,000 attendees, the second annual IAB Direct Brand Summit (DBS)offered a unique opportunity to experience many points of view from the people building and leading the direct brand economy. At the Summit, IAB revealed some surprising findings in the Direct Brands: Media & Customer Acquisition Study. In sharp contrast to the popular belief that direct brands focus their marketing around social, the data shows that direct brands are leveraging all media, including display, social, video, digital out-of-home (DOOH), and audio, and their offline media spend is bigger than most would think.
The Direct Brands: Founders Benchmark Study revealed that direct brands focus on profitability and customer satisfaction ahead of market share, and 90% of direct-to-consumer brands report that they are already profitable. The findings also indicate that the vast majority of disruptor brands are building institutions to last.
To show how modern marketers are using data, mobile, and video-driven marketing strategies to increase consumer engagement and accelerate business growth, the IAB Data, Mobile, and Digital Video Centers of Excellence joined forces to produce the IAB NexGen Marketing Conference. To continue the conversation online and off, IAB offered a series of brand council meetings, peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and founders’ insights in a video series throughout the year.
The challenges and opportunities that direct-to-consumer companies have created are ongoing subjects of discussion with our members and were also the focus of a research paper: Pivoting to Growth: Selling Advertising and Marketing in the Direct Brand Economy. Key suggestions and takeaways include knowing the brand’s mission and product story, and how they engage with their target consumer; using data, real-time reporting, and attribution to help them personalize, respond to, and understand their customers more holistically.
Who are direct brand consumers, how big is the market, and what drives the consumer decision process? To answer these and other pressing questions, IAB produced landmark research about this dynamic landscape called the Disrupting Brand Preference Study, which was released at VidCon in July. It shows that direct brand shoppers comprise 48% of all U.S. consumers. They are younger than incumbent brand-only shoppers, with 84% under 54 years old, and are likelier to have a household income of more than $75,000.
In December 2019, IAB released the Legal Guide for Direct Brands, which offers a concise overview of legal issues often confronted by companies, particularly direct brands, and helps companies navigate the legal implications of direct connections to consumers. The guide covers such thorny issues as why founder and equity agreements are vital for direct brands including the documents necessary for such investment transactions, and the essentials of privacy, advertising, and marketing law for companies that compete with them.
Marketplaces & Thought Leadership: Leading Conversations, Building Relationships, and Making Marketplaces
IAB plays a crucial role in convening thought leaders and creating marketplaces. At events like the IAB Digital Content NewFronts and NewFronts West, the IAB Podcast Upfront, and Audio Days, IAB works to spur the interactive industry toward truly inspiring creative. These events play a powerful role connecting buyers and sellers of digital video and emerging media. The 2019 IAB NexGen Marketing Conference and the 2nd annual IAB Direct Brand Summit provided insights from and for direct brands. And agenda-setting events such as the IAB Video Leadership Summit and the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting provided discussion platforms,thought leadership, and inspiring insights.
In 2019, we also brought more networking opportunities to our members with IAB@Cannes Lions, IAB@VidCon, the IAB Cross- Cultural Marketing Day, Women Visionaries breakfasts and town halls, and our Brand Council events.
IAB continues to be the leading convening force for the digital industry to bring publishers, platforms, and brands to solve industry challenges. As platform and publisher interdependency continues to grow, IAB facilitates high-level conversations between key parties and members throughout the year.
IAB Centers of Excellence
IAB Centers of Excellence provide leadership, best practices, and research for the continued growth of the interactive advertising industry through peer-to-peer and expert networks.
IAB Data Center of Excellence: Driving Radical Transparency and Accountability in Data
Direct-to-consumer brands are fueled by data, devoted to performance and developing new ways of doing business. Key efforts for the IAB Data Center of Excellence in 2019 focused on helping bring programmatic in-house and supporting key research to foster a better understanding of the current state of data in the interactive landscape.
Guide to Navigating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection act (COPPA)
Children are now one of the fastest growing online audiences. UNICEF reports more than 175,000 kids globally go online for the first time every day. This IAB Guide explains COPPA, provides recommendations to brands, advertising technology providers, and publishers, and acts as a resource for the media industry.
The State of Data
To better understand and quantify audience data applications among digital marketing practitioners, this study shows how U.S. companies are accelerating their spending on third-party audience data for advertising and marketing efforts. Spoiler alert: In 2019, American companies are expected to spend nearly $19.2 billion on the acquisition of audience data and on solutions — a 5% increase from the prior year. The report also shows practitioners how to benchmark their current efforts and plan for the year ahead.
A Marketer’s Guide to Defining the Data Stack
An in-depth educational examination into how both rising direct brands and mainstay traditional brands can identify their current place in the data ecosystem, this IAB whitepaper presents an assessment criteria for understanding your current datasets, and how they relate to one another and considers the levels of online, offline, and owned data to determine where your brand falls on the custom data matrix.
IAB Data Rockstars Awards
To raise awareness and visibility of the great work done by data industry practitioners the IAB Data Center of Excellence and IAB Learning & Development honored key members as recipients of the 2019 IAB Data Rockstar and Rising Star Awards. IAB brought together 200 + industry professionals to connect and celebrate the success of their peers.
Other 2019 Initiatives Included:
- Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
- Growing Programmatic DOOH: Opportunities and Challenges Benchmark Study
- Programmatic In-Housing: Building Internal Capabilities
- The Essential Guide to Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA)
Visit iab.com/data for more information.
IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence: Best-in-Class Mobile Marketing With Consumers at the Center
The Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in a mobile-always world and in an increasingly direct-brand economy. Since its launch in 2010, the Mobile Center helps accelerate the growth of the mobile ecosystem by championing standards, best practices, consumer research, and public advocacy. In 2019 the Mobile Center collaborated extensively with the Data Center of Excellence and focused on the following areas:
Podcast Revenue Study
To better understand the rapidly evolving podcast landscape, IAB released in June the latest version of its widely cited advertising activities benchmark report on advertising activities in the podcast marketplace. Key trends of the study revealed that year-over-year self-reported ad revenue increased 34% in 2018 to $355.7 million, up from 2017’s $257.4 million. Moreover, the estimated market year-over-year revenue jumped 53% from 2017 to 2018 to $479.1 million and revenue will top $1 billion in 2021.
IAB Audio Days
Designed to minimize focus on individual platforms and promote investments in Digital Audio, the IAB Audio committee held two Audio Days for brands and agencies in 2019. The programs discussed exciting trends in digital audio, offered advice executing efficient digital audio campaigns and offered best practices for audio creative, measurement, and one-on-one advertiser insight discussions with brands and agencies.
IAB Inside Influencer/UGC Marketing Day
Consumers are discovering, researching and making brand choices and leveraging brands to help them gain influencer status. The power wielded by influencers across all segments of the purchase funnels requires a clear understanding of disclosure. To address this need, the Social Media/Native/ Content Committee featured conversations about influencer vetting, live streaming, user-generated content effectiveness, and the impact of influencers on the direct brand economy.
User- Generated Content (UGC) for Marketing and Advertising
UGC for marketing and advertising has grown significantly in recent years largely due to the rise of social and messaging platforms where ordinary people have become avid and voluntary content creators, notably on their mobile devices. To help brands and their agencies understand how UGC can help meet their marketing and advertising objectives this IAB guide includes key benefits, sources, and types of UGC, as well as use cases and legal considerations.
Playable Ads for Brands
To help brands embrace the potential playable ads have to drive quantifiable business results and eliminate misconceptions in the industry about playables, the IAB Games Committee created the first of its kind guide which helps brand marketers and their agencies learn everything they need to know to get started and expand their usage of playable ads.
IAB Location-Based Marketing Glossary
An estimated $26.5 billion was spent in 2019 on mobile location- targeted ads, according to eMarketer. Current trends in location- based marketing make it critical for brands to have an in-depth understanding of their customers and how to maximize outreach effectiveness. The IAB Location-Based Marketing Glossary brought together marketers, publishers and technology platforms to align and define the language specific to location-based marketing.
Recommendations for Marketers in a Screenless World
Screenless devices are seeing exponential growth across households throughout the U.S. The IAB Audio Committee released Recommendations for Marketers in a Screenless World to help marketers to make the most effective investments, understand what these emerging devices are, how they are used, and what their benefits are across the consumer experience, activating campaigns, creative formats, and measurement criteria.
Other 2019 Initiatives Included:
- Native Advertising Playbook
- Account-Based Marketing in an Omni-Channel World
- Augmented Reality for Marketing Purposes Playbook
Visit iab.com/mobile for more information.
IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence: Spurring Growth in a Rapidly Evolving Cross-Screen Video Landscape
Publishers are looking to effectively monetize consumer’s seemingly insatiable appetite for video in a brand-safe environment, especially on mobile, and in the fast growing OTT streaming video space. To help our members and the industry discover and participate in best-in-class creative, and to help buyers and planners be smarter about investing in digital video, the Video Center fielded essential new research, tools, marketplaces, and events including:
2019 Video Ad Spend Study
Overall the future looks bright for video as advertisers indicated they planned to spend about 25% more on digital video advertising in 2019 with nearly two-thirds (59%) planning to increase spend in advanced TV spend and half reporting increases specifically in over-the-top streaming video. This annual report, released in tandem with the IAB NewFronts, provides key insights on where brands and buyers are focusing their digital video ad spend including specific verticals and categories.
OTT Streaming Video Playbook for Advanced Marketers
Designed to educate brands on the fast-moving OTT landscape, this playbook examines the technologies, key terms and definitions, use cases, industry data and offers practical advice on how to leverage the power of OTT streaming video. IAB also released video interviews with industry experts on how they are thinking about the OTT streaming video space in terms of measurement, audience and creative capabilities.
Advanced TV Matrix: A Market Snapshot
To simplify and organize the complex and constantly evolving advanced TV landscape, the IAB Digital Video Center released this comprehensive reference guide, which aims to simplify and organize the complex and constantly evolving advanced TV landscape. By placing all types of TV and advanced TV products side by side, buyers and planners can understand the differences and similarities amongst these TV products to determine the best course of action for their brand depending on their marketing objectives, needs, and capabilities.
IAB Data-Driven Video Best Practices and Case Studies
To showcase how data can be used not just to inform targeting, but also actual creative messaging, the Data-Driven Video Best Practices Guide and Case Studies highlight the current state of data-driven video, best practices for implementing these strategies, while highlighting the key consumer signals brands can leverage to create more effective campaigns.
A Day in the Life of Video Viewers
Video advertising is affected by the motivations and mindsets a consumer experiences as they make their content viewing choices throughout the day. Released at the 2019 Digital Content NewFronts, this study looks into the different ways consumers watch digital video — going beyond dayparts, demos and/or personas.
Video Leadership Summit
To help prioritize and solve industry-wide issues in the video space, each year in July the Video Center hosts the Annual Video Leadership Summit, an invitation-only meeting that gathers leading industry stakeholders to address the key problems facing the video industry. This year 80+ senior leaders from across the media ecosystem, including top OTT and broadcasting companies, top brands, and media buying and creative agencies, gathered to discuss the battle for consumer’s attention that’s playing out with the launch of more and more ad-supported and subscription streaming services as programming, pricing, distribution, and monetization models continue to evolve.
Other 2019 Initiatives Included:
- Kickstarting Creative Success
- Member Roadshow: Current State of Video Advertising Ecosystem
Visit iab.com/video for more information.
IAB Tech Lab: Global Standards to Drive Growth and Innovation
Rapid growth has created some unintended consequences such as ad fraud, privacy and security issues, and inefficiencies. To support a healthy and sustainable media industry, IAB Technology Laboratory (IAB Tech Lab) is producing and helping companies implement global technical standards and solutions for digital media and advertising. In 2019, Tech Lab made real progress towards our collective goals with new standards, protocols, software, and services to drive solutions in four main areas: championing privacy, identity and data standards, building anti-fraud and brand safety standards, improving programmatic effectiveness, and refining measurement and the overall ad experience.
CCPA Compliance Framework For Publishers & Technology Companies
To support CCPA compliance for website and app owners and the digital ad tech ecosystem, the IAB Privacy & Compliance Unit, gathering legal, public policy, and tech experts from IAB, IAB Tech Lab, along with membercompanies representing the digital advertising, marketing, and media ecosystem, has developed thisframework. It represents an opportunity for companies that are truly invested in privacy by design to forge greater trust with our most valuable and importantbusiness assets: consumers.
Enhanced GDPR Transparency and Consent Framework
The IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) provides a common framework to facilitate compliance with data protection laws for every part of the advertising value chain, from publishers and technology companies to agencies and advertisers. Version 2.0 has been developed under the stewardship of IAB Tech Lab, and based on feedback received in the first 12 months after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect from the market and EU member state data protection authorities (DPAs). Key changes in the new version are even more transparency and control for consumers, greater control for publishers, and enhanced accommodation of GDPR’s “legitimate interest”legal basis for processing personal data.
Proposal for Enhanced Accountability
The open standards and open architecture of the internet have fueled tremendous innovation and consumer value over the last 20+ years. But some parties have been overly open in exchanging data — causing concerns around consumer privacy, data sharing practices, and security. In September, IAB Tech Lab released a Proposal for Enhanced Accountability which outlines three ideas from our industry for building consumer privacy into the fabric of our ecosystem, and ascertaining real-time, privacy-compliant use of consumeridentifiers: an encrypted, revocable token, tied to a joint accountability system, with a controlled container for ad delivery.
Data Transparency Standard and Compliance Program
In June, the IAB Tech Lab announced the completion of version 1.0 of its Data Transparency Standard, and the launch of an affiliated Data Transparency Standard Compliance Program, to advance data collection best practices. Similar to manufacturers being required to provide a nutrition label on packaged foods, the standard asks data providers to offer details that inform segment quality, addressing things like segment recency, provenance, and segmentation criteria, and to encourage more informed data usage.
Building Transparency and Trust in Programmatic
To provide buying platforms and intermediaries with transparency into the origins, paths, and legitimacy of ad inventory, the sellers.json and Supply Chain Object specifications are ready for full industry adoption. These specifications complement the suite of anti-fraud brand safety tools that IAB Tech Lab has developed with ads.txt for publishers to declare their list of authorized digital sellers and the mobile app version app-ads.txt. Over 2.5 million domains have implemented ads.txt and over 100,000 apps have implemented app-ads.txt across Google Play and the iOS app store.
Blockchain Application in ad Tech
Imagine a world where the challenges of digital advertising operations fade into a chain of collaborative record keeping, and full transparency removes the need for out-of-band reconciliation. This is the promise of blockchain, but the technology is far from ready for primetime in the digital media ecosystem. The Tech Lab guide on blockchain technology and its application in ad tech offers an informed starting point for exploring and using solutions.
Trust, Creativity, and Capabilities for Digital Video Ads
The Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition (SIMID) is the latest release from the Digital Video Technical Standards Working Group. It is the last step in truly modernizing the video standards stack. Along with the Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID) and the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) 4.2, it enables true cross-platform video advertising delivery, verification, and interactivity, and replaces the Video Player Ad Interface Definition or VPAID. It also provides publishers the ability to add interactivity to video ads in a safe, secure, and predictable environment.
Guidelines for CTV/OTT Devices and app Identification
With the growth of connected TVs (CTV), set-top boxes, and other over-the-top (OTT) devices, and the explosion in streaming videoservices, the OTT space is fast becoming one of the most important segments of video advertising. With this growth comes manytechnical challenges, such as how verification should work on OTT devices and updates to the AdCOM object model to better support video/OTT inventory.
Measurement Verification Made Easy: Open Measurement Sdk
Until recently, independent viewability measurement presented one of the most complex challenges faced by mobile advertising. The Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK) has eliminated the need for multiple vendor integrations by supporting all of the major providers and the OM SDK Version 1.3, released in December, is even easier to integrate, easier to activate, and better-aligned with MRC guidelines.
IAB Global Network: Supporting Global Growth and Technology Standards
IAB supports our members’ international agendas by leveraging the strength and collaboration of the IAB Global Network, encompassing nearly 50 IAB organizations across six continents. The international team aims to further the overall mission of IAB and to serve the interactive ad industry globally by advancing global thought leadership, expanding the IAB brand into strategic markets, and encouraging self-regulation and public policy. This year, the IAB Global Network continued to focus its efforts on an issue that profoundly affects the entire media and marketing ecosystem: consumer privacy and regulations.
IAB Learning & Development: World-Class Training and Learning for a Dynamic Ecosystem
As the industry continues to grow, IAB members have showcased a need for additional training to further upskill their organizations and stay ahead of the curve. Some of the main courses offered in 2019 included:
Introduction to Direct Brands
Direct-to-consumer brands are disrupting the traditional retail economy, capturing unprecedented market share from legacy category leaders. This online learning course traces the development of direct brands and explain show you and your organization can thrive in the direct brand economy.
IAB Leadership Training: Media Sales
To actively enable the emergence of new strong sales leaders in the industry, the IAB Education Advisory Board, comprised of fourteen top executives in the digital industry, architected a two-day leadership training for media sales.
Designed for business professionals, the Privacy Essentials course gives an in-depth introduction to the most comprehensive EU and U.S. privacy laws and how they affect your business and apply to the various players in the digital advertising ecosystem.
Digital Advertising Essentials For Lawyers, Policy, and Privacy Professionals
As privacy and policy continue to be key topics of discussion, this course was designed for lawyers, and public policy professionals looking for a crash course in the digital media industry.
The first digital audio training of its kind, the IAB Audio 360 course dives into where audio has been, where it’s going, and how advertisers are taking advantage of it for the future.
- All Access
- Custom In-Person
- Licensed Content
- Modular Training
Society of Digital Media Professionals Network
Each month the Learning & Development team hosts an event where an IAB member provides insights on how their organization approaches a particular topic, inciting open discussion where members can share ideas and build relationships.
Partnership With DMI And 212 NYC
To increase the reach of digital media and marketing training for the interactive industry, IAB Learning & Development has established partnerships with the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) and 212 NYC, to extend training and certification opportunities directly to their members.
IAB in the News
IAB Members: Empowering and Connecting IAB Members
The IAB mission is to empower the media and marketing industries to continue to thrive in the digital economy, and helping you — our members — is how we strengthen those industries. IAB membership includes more than 650 leading media and technology companies, including more than 120 brands. We thank all of our members for their support throughout the year.
Brand••• New Member
2019 Committees & Councils
IAB helps drive the industry forward through the efforts of committees and councils in various industry segments. These groups include the brightest minds in the industry and work together to develop solutions that improve the interactive advertising and marketing ecosystem for everyone. Committee and council participation is open to any eligible staff at an IAB member company.
Financial Review: Investing in Industry Growth and Our Members’ Success
Delivering value to our members is our top priority at IAB; and the financial state of IAB started and ended the year strong,allowing us to make big investments in solutions for growth for our industry and our members.
According to unaudited 2019 financial statements, IAB is projected to finish the year with record-breaking topline consolidated revenue of $36.7 million, up from $33.3 million in 2018.
Membership dues revenue is projected to be $16.6 million for 2019, up 4% from $15.9 million in 2018. Events at IAB in 2019 areexpected to bring in $7.7 million, up $7.3 million from 2018. Learning & Development revenue is projected to be up by 20% year-over-year at $1.6 million compared to $1.3 million in 2018.
IAB organizations continued to deliver on revenue in 2019. Given the tremendous growth of OTT video streaming, the Digital Video Center ofExcellence is expected to see revenue of $1.4 million, an increase of 14% from $1.2 million in 2018. The Data Center of Excellence revenuetopped $1 million or 9% year-over-year growth thanks to expanded board participation. And the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence isprojected to finish 2019 on par with the previous year.
The IAB Tech Lab is expected to bring in $6.5 million in its fourth year of operation (up from $4.9 million in 2018) to develop tools, standards, and best practices that simplify and reduce costs associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain. This growthis due in part to industry interest and increased participation in global compliance programs.
Additional ongoing IAB revenue streams in 2019 included initiatives such as strategic partnerships with investment on research in thedirect brand economy, international licensing fees, and other new initiatives.
In 2019, IAB invested the revenues received towards helping member businesses grow and excel. Funding was directed towards producing valuable third-party industry research and tools for building brands in digital media. We have also made significant investments in our Learning & Development curriculum, events, and increased investment in our publicpolicy efforts on behalf of our members.
Overall, IAB managed expenses closely in 2019, which are projected to total $29.8 million, and closed the year with a net income surplus of $749,000.
We are poised and structured for a successful 2020 and look forward to connecting at a deeper level with all of our members.
Who We Are
The IAB Offices
New York Office
Interactive Advertising Bureau
116 East 27th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10016
212 380 4700
Washington, D.C. Office
Interactive Advertising Bureau
888 17th St., NW Suite 312
Washington, DC 20006
Presence on West Coast
IAB empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.