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My colleague, Duane Kinsey, thinks publishers are about to go solo en masse with their advertising stacks. They may plug and play certain demand channels or platforms, but on the whole, the publisher's will both build its own technology and leverage trusted partners to fill in the gaps.
I go back and forth on the concept, but I have to admit, when a company like the Washington Post decides to go at it alone, and then turn around and offer their tech stack to other publishers, it's hard not to notice.
This week, Digiday is reporting that WashPo is systematically cutting out ad tech partners who don't meet the company's speed performance thresholds. That means ad servers, ad building apps, native ad integrations, and video ad companies are all finding themselves on the outside looking in today.
For publishers, there's only one thing that matters (outside of revenue of course), and that's consumer sentiment and brand affinity. I wrote an article about the Washington Post's ad experience last summer (as well as some others). Long story short, I was so annoyed by my experience that I never even managed to read the article that caught my attention. With The Washington Post's recent move to "infiltrate the vendor space" I can't help but be filled with optimism and hope that the horrible ad experiences most of us find ourselves in every day while reading online will soon be a thing of the past.
It's getting increasingly difficult to argue against the idea that it's best for publishers to take their advertising stacks in-house and cut out the intermediaries once and for all. Both the Washington Post and Purch are shining examples of publishing companies making a move to reclaim control over their advertising ecosystems.
It's a ways out still, but the next generation of advertising online is going to be streamlined, lightweight, and consumer-friendly thanks to the efforts of publishers like The Washington Post. It's also going to be driven by publishers who look to recapture control.