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Why Does It Take A Platform To Raise An Industry?

Here we are, amidst a personality crisis in ad tech, and instead of the industry taking steps to clean up its act, it’s taking companies who refuse to admit they’re even media companies to push for change in the industry. A quick look at some of the articles below reveals the trend quite plainly. Platforms like Facebook — despite their insistence that they’re not even a media company — are starting to force advertisers (and the industry at large) to make the changes end users have been demanding for the last decade. It doesn’t just end with Facebook, either. Google has now gone to war with obnoxious interstitial advertisements. The company, that’s quiet easily the largest advertising company on the web, will now be deducting virtual page rank points from media companies that use the technology in less than ideal ways.

Both are welcomed changes, but I have to ask, where are the traditional media companies? Why is it platforms making these demands of marketers and advertisers?

Curiously, time and again, when platforms begin to push for an evolution in advertising, the worlds largest media and news websites are mostly silent, letting others drive change on their behalf. It’s a scary proposition, when you consider the ad revenue these new-age media companies (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) are eating, while old-age-media continues to stock platform shelves with fantastically fresh, new content for free. Rare are the days when news breaks about a media company parting with obnoxious technology vendors or retiring shady ad practices. It’s long overdue.

If there was ever a moment when media companies needed to start transitioning to a more technology-first model and recapture control of their advertising revenue, it’s now. Media companies are no longer distinguishable from tech companies. The more we look, the more it’s becoming increasingly evident that media companies are quickly turning into technology companies, and those companies are built on gargantuan profits rooted solely in advertising. The difference between this generation’s media companies and the media companies of yesteryear? Complete control over their advertising stacks.

Call them what you want — news aggregator, platform, or social network — it doesn’t really matter. They’re all media companies, and they’re driving advertising innovation without their predecessors because they control the media consumption from beginning to end. It’s time we all stop and think twice about who we’re partnering with before it’s too late.


If we could also convince Google and the rest of the internet that a 30 second video advertisements before EVERY single YouTube video isn’t appropriate, that’d be great.

Todd Garland, CEO, and Founder at BuySellAds

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