What’s in Store for Ad Tech in 2018

End of the year is an exciting time for industry gurus as they keenly await what’s in store for the upcoming year. For mobile ad tech, it is no different. Since it began, mobile app advertising has been a fast-paced industry with plenty of dynamic developments that keep the analysts on their toes.

Advertising experts in 2017 kept a close eye on where ad tech will go from here, especially with the development of mobile RTB video, AR/VR and ad blocking.

How will 2018 be different? Here are our top predictions for the coming year.

1. It’s All About the Data

According to the IDC, the big data market is expected to be worth more than $100 billion by the end of 2018. As the data sets become more granular, the analysis on the marketers’ end does as well, tracking performance from initial touchpoint with the ad of the user through to the final conversion and post-install engagement.

2. No End to Advertising’s Love Affair with Programmatic

The DNA of “the ideal marketer” will increasingly have to consist of a strong understanding of programmatic in order to navigate the increasingly complex mobile advertising landscape. Wherever transparency is valued and user quality (ROAS) is a leading KPI, programmatic media-buying will have to be leveraged and the better this marketing channel is understood, the better it can be seized for advertising success. The granularity this channel offers when it comes to audience targeting, minimizing budget waste, as well as the transparency it brings when analysing results and gathering learnings to come out on top of the market, are what will keep mobile marketers ahead of the curve.

3. Play it Right with Vertical Video and Playables

The one big improvement towards the way video will be viewed in 2018, is video ads going vertical. We have already seen this trend pick up in 2017, however there will be more adoption on both the publisher and advertiser side throughout 2018. For video to be on a par with the actual user behavior on mobile will increase how “natural” the viewing experience will appear to the end user. Playables will increasingly mimic the actual look of the app and tech and creative teams are getting a lot more advanced at making this a reality in 2018.

4. Push for Measurability and Attribution Standards

This year there has already been some debate in the media (and the AppLift Blog) on the varying attribution standards, and the topic will continue to receive a lot of attention mainly from Advertisers. This goes for both the need for transparency in the attribution process as well as no acceptance of ‘self attributing’ publishers and ad networks which claim the credit even when/if their contribution was minor.

It is likely that attribution and measurability will be a “free” commodity offered by mobile attribution companies, where the competition will steer towards analytics and complimentary services.

Mobile Advertising

5. Ad Tech Consolidation, Finally?

We have said this before and put it again as our prediction for this year. Ad tech consolidation might finally happen, moving towards fewer players in the ad tech space. Ad tech was never supposed to be a market of many, but a market of few. During 2018 we will continue seeing the industry consolidation, mainly on the demand side, with more consolidation of mobile demand-side players, mergers or acquisitions. Also on attribution and analytics where the almost fully consolidated niche will expand to complementary services such as in-app CRM, advanced analytics as well as active fraud prevention.

6. The Rise of Planet Blockchain

We have a running bet on how many booths during Mobile World Congress will have the word “Blockchain” on them. But seriously, Blockchain technology will without a doubt enter the ad tech space. Some companies will likely use “Blockchain” mainly as a marketing buzzword, but certainly some will make actual technological progress to introduce a decentralized ledger for verification, digitizing the IO, attribution and so on.

Don’t agree with some of them? We’d love to hear your opinion 🙂 Please use the comment section or send us an email directly to blog[at]!