Ad Placement, Yield, And Access To Consumer Data Lead Publisher Concerns For 2024

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The postmortem on 2023 has shown positive gains and reason for 2024 optimism for advertisers.

For its annual Industry Pulse Report, Integral Ad Science asked brands and agencies on the buy-side as well as publishers about the challenges they expect even with those rosier forecasts. 

Both said that the biggest media challenge they expect in the next 12 months was ads delivering alongside risky content.

The Most Anticipated Media Challenges For Publishers (Source: Integral Ad Science)

“The sell-side is aligned with buyers and tech vendors on adjacency to risky content or misinformation as the top media challenge,” the study says. “This challenge likely stands out for both groups due to risk of inaccurate or risky content surrounding the 2024 presidential election.”

For publishers, an equal amount (29%) were just as concerned with maximizing yield, “highlighting the importance of results that could be threatened by ads delivered alongside risky content,” the study says. The decreased access to cookies and consumer data worried 27% of both advertisers and publishers.

The study found that, on both the buy-side and sell-side, organizations would be prioritizing viewability (83%), brand-risk mitigation (80%), attention (79%), and contextual targeting (79%). Observing its own proprietary data, IAS found viewability to be a conversion-driver that resulted in 181% increase in ROI (compared to those “not in-view”) and a return of $4.57 on every dollar spent. Beyond viewability, the study also put a spotlight on responsible media investments.

“It will be increasingly important for ads to be placed alongside media that promotes environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion initiatives, trustworthy journalism, and other responsible media content,” the study says, pointing to the 74% who were prioritizing this in the coming year. “Publishers (81%) and ad tech (81%) are most bullish about prioritizing responsible media investment in 2024.”

Other insights from IAS’s survey include most experts believing social media and digital video will not only face serious challenges in the year ahead, but will also hold the most potential for innovation and opportunity. In regards to social media, 67% of media experts are making it a top priority, 83% say social video growth will continue to drive programmatic video spend, and 66% say eroding consumer trust will negatively impact social media spend.

“Social media is an advertising essential, with 91% of media experts planning to monetize content and drive ROI from social platforms, the study says. “The format, however, may be shifting toward engagement saturation. …. Without the continued promise of growth in time spent or new users, marketers are turning to video ads, social shopping, and prioritizing media quality to capture consumer attention and build effective social ad campaigns.”


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