Classifying AdTech in real time

Defining AdTech

AdTech refers to the digital technologies created for the advertisement industry. It generated a large economic sector that enabled significant changes in the advertising industry. Currently, most large organisations use some form of digital technology to set up their advertising strategies, manage their ads, and analyse derived consumer data. According to Verified Market Research The Global Ad Tech Software Market was valued at USD 16.27 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 29.85 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2019 to 2026.

Hence, advertising technologies are central for other economic sectors. This is why we think it is important to understand and gather data on AdTech, as far as it can reveal other sectors’ practices.

An AdTech Taxonomy

There is a lot written on AdTech suggesting the industry’s verticals. Traditionally, the sector has been broken down in Domain-Side Platforms (DSP), Supply-Side Platforms (SSP), Data Management Platforms (DMP) and Ad exchange technologies. However, our data suggests that this framework is obsolete. There are companies that define themselves as Doman-Side Platforms, but there are many more that offer similar products using different language. Likewise,  large DSPs have bought out SSPs, and vice-versa, blurring the boundaries among segments.

We decided to create a new taxonomy for AdTech that reflects these changes. The result are the following categories:

  • Advertiser Technology: this segment targets companies that develop technologies for those that want to advertise a product or a service. This can be related, but it is not limited, to Domain-Side Platforms.
  • Publisher Technology: this category captures business that provide technologies for those that own the (virtual) space for advertisement. Supply-Side platforms fulfil this function, but our segment also includes others offering different products to publishers.
  • Data Management and Analytics Platforms: here we include the technologies that allow advertisers and publishers to manage and analyse the data generated from advertisement campaigns.
  • Ad Exchange: companies that develop online systems that enable a marketplace for publishers and advertisers. Basically, these systems act as a networking tool for others in the industry.
  • Programmatic Platforms: the organisations in this category offer a wide variety of products that optimise advertising processes. From end-to-end digital advertisement solutions to content engagement platforms, this segment represents a wide variety of new companies that have diversified the sector.

We want to impact the field by providing a new way of understanding AdTech based on our data. We have observed that companies not always define themselves following the DSP-SSP-DMP model, therefore, we developed an RTIC that describes the industry in real time. This reflects the changes experienced on the sector, which is now blooming with the introduction of newer technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, in their processes.


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