Digital advertising has grown even more algorithmic | Mint - Mint

A while ago, I had written about the new market for trading in advertising space on social media and on the internet in general. The first revolution in digital advertising occurred when Google began to place advertisements along with its standard web search. Search engine optimization (SEO) was all the rage for some time. Companies wanted to be on the first page served. Google was smart enough to add video to the mix. YouTube, which it acquired, is now the second largest search engine on the internet and rakes in gigantic sums in ad revenue.

Broadcast TV is slowly fading away, as TV screens increasingly go online to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube and other content platforms. Advertising here is more sophisticated than SEO. Companies in this space are running artificial intelligence based devices to dynamically arrive at the best prices for a particular slot. This recognizes the fact that the viewership of specific content on internet channels (like YouTube videos or live events on over-the-top or OTT platforms) can vary significantly through its run-time duration. Witness Sunday’s Asia Cup cricket final, where Sri Lanka were bundled out for 50 runs. The fact that India would win in short order would have caused a large part of the viewership to drop off, thereby reducing the value of advertising slots during India’s run chase.

Broadcast TV advertising was always a bit of a hit-or-miss affair, and advertisers relied on data companies such as AC...

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