There’s a saying that the ad technology business is filled with features masquerading as products and products masquerading as companies. That could change soon as consolidation takes hold, driven by marketers and agencies need for simplicity.
Take ad verification, a space filled with several players solving a specific problem of the ad landscape: letting advertisers know they’re ads showed up and didn’t appear somewhere they weren’t supposed to be. Adometry was one of those players, competing against larger rivals DoubleVerify and AdSafe. Click Forensics, another company founded on solving a specific online ad problem of click fraud, is buying five-person Adometry in a bid to build a larger suite of services designed around what it’s calling “ad analytics.
“We’ve been focused on expanding from cost-per-click to display for close to a year,” said Paul Pellman, CEO of Austin-based Click Forensics, which is now taking the Adometry name. “We saw verification as just one component of the broader need of advertisers.”
The verification category is further pressured by some saying Google is working on its own certification program that would provide an alternative for networks in need of assuring agencies and advertisers they’re delivering their ads as promised.
“Advertisers have a bunch of point solutions right now,” said Pellman. “They have a hard time judging how effective their online campaigns are working.”
There’s little doubt there are many players who are just one component of what advertisers need. By Luma Partners CEO Terry Kawaja’s count, there are 192 companies in the 24-category field with over $2.5 billion in venture capital backing.
Consolidation, bringing with it simplicity, is of critical importance to the growth of the online ad industry. Google CEO Eric Schmidt mentioned this at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Meeting as a factor holding the display business back from being worth $200 billion annually.