Shop Talk is a blog series exploring advertising industry news and trends. They are casual yet informative, diving into the latest relevant topics for fellow industry professionals.
A conversation with Arm Candy team leads, Alysia Ehle and David Mahaffey, about data analysis, reporting and ad tech.
Note that the following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
ALE: I saw this article about The Trade Desk Open Path the other day. Can you explain to me what’s going on here?
DM: The gist of it is that TTD has made their own SSP instead of working with an existing one, although they aren’t calling it that.
ALE: What is an SSP, and what are some examples?
DM: SSPs are like highways that connect all our cities and suburbs. A couple of examples would be TripleLift, Pubmatic, and AdX (owned by Google).
ALE: Sounds a little like a monopoly?
DM: Yes, Google is actually being sued for that.
ALE: So, how is this different?
DM: Google owns every part of digital advertising within its platform, from the publisher side to ad serving, media buying, and everything in between. They touch every focal point of online advertising. The difference with TTD is that it only impacts publishers and buyers. Think of it like this: Google owns the whole pizza, while TTD only owns half of it.
ALE: Where do we see this going? Is this the next move for all big DSPs?
DM: I bet they’ll see how it plays out as TTD continues to take market share from Google. Here’s one way this could go down: Google is probably broken up by the DoJ, and their monopoly no longer exists. TTD then comes in and fills the void. It’s a tale as old as capitalism!
ALE: That makes sense… I suppose at that point, other DSPs will find an opportunity. What happens if Google is broken up?
DM: They may need to sell off parts of their business. I can see them selling off DV360. Most of their revenue comes from search, which runs in Google Ads.
ALE: In other judicial news… what do you think is going to happen with TikTok?
DM: They will have to be sold to a US-based tech company or be banned ultimately. Their CEO’s performance before Congress did not inspire confidence.
ALE: A world without TikTok! Can you imagine? Although we will probably all be a lot more productive.
DM: How would this affect media planning – especially consumption of TikTok content only growing?
ALE: To be honest, I don’t see this having a huge negative impact on the paid media space. TikTok is mainly good for capturing a large impression share and brand awareness. There are a lot of improvements to be made in their tech for conversion campaigns. It’s so hard to capture attention on the platform. The biggest hit will be for influencers.
DM: I guess they’ll go back to Instagram.
ALE: Or the next thing! TikTok was so hot when it came out and early advertisers got in front of an eager audience.
DM: That’s true. We’ll be on the lookout for Gen Z’s app replacement!