Observations from the 2011 IAB Leadership Conference
By J. Habegger,
I attended the IAB Leadership Conference in La Quinta, California (Palm Springs for those of you that don’t instantly recognize La Quinta) last week along with OwnerIQ executives Robert Daniel and Eric Mabley.
This was my second time at the IAB Leadership Conference and I continue to be impressed by the caliber of the turnout. According to the IAB this was their largest Leadership Conference yet with 700 people in attendance. And, from what I could see it included a wide swath of the executives in online advertising industry.
Some of the headlines coming out of the conference:
Google Thinks that Display is a $200 Billion Opportunity
In his keynote address to the conference on Sunday evening, Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, said that Google believed that online display advertising is going to be a $200 Billion global business. Here is the video.
The next day in The Wall Street Journal, another Google executive was quoted as saying that he believed display was going to be a $100 Billion opportunity.
Ok, Google. Which is it?
Regardless, I agree that it’s big and getting bigger fast. We can see this in the increasing acceptance of advertisers and the amount of inventory that is flowing through exchanges and RTB platforms. In particular, Forrester released a report commissioned by Ad Meld that forecast $832 million in RTB inventory would be traded in 2011 with an additional $592 million forecast to flow through non-RTB exchange platforms such as Yahoo’s RightMedia. This is more than 100% growth from 2010.
We have been tracking this meteoric growth through the volume we see flowing through our ad platform, MostIQ
Another interesting phenomenon discussed among the participants at the IAB conference is the growth in “private exchanges” or publishers setting up a private real-time auction for their inventory. The publishers control access to who gets in to bid on the inventory and thus hope to secure higher rates for their inventory.
Although it does raise the bar for us in terms of more RTB integrations and access points, we’re in favor of this trend, as we believe that in time it will make more premium inventory available via exchanges and RTB and this will allow us to apply the full range of algorithmic decision-making to this inventory as well.
The Online Advertising Industry Takes Privacy Seriously
Also much discussed at the conference was the importance of privacy and, more accurately, taking an aggressive stance on protecting consumer privacy as a bulwark against potentially over-reaching and innovation-killing government regulation. The IAB Network and Exchange quality assurance guidelines were rolled out. You can see the video here.
Despite the difficulties of getting to La Quinta (a six hour flight stretched to 8 hours due to weather delays and headwinds and was then followed by a 3 hour drive from LAX to La Quinta), the conference again proved to be a good investment of time.