A year ago, the industry expected a debate in support of federal data privacy laws. While that debate rages on, it has taken shape as a patchwork of state regulations, influenced by big tech heavyweights like Facebook and Google. And their influence steers the rules in their favor — edging out competitors and stifling innovation through the acquisition of smaller players.
Absent a federal law like Europe’s GDPR, companies that deal in consumer data — and the brands that rely on them — are forced to prepare for a variety of new consumer privacy statutes including consent management and the “right to be forgotten.” 2020’s regulatory landscape will be rife with risks and rewards — and inevitable winners and losers. Here’s what to expect:
Disruption to traditional advertising and agency models
Advertisers have long facilitated the demand side of platforms, while publishers have fueled the supply side. However, major players like Google and Amazon have created walled gardens, and current agency models are becoming harder to scale with the proliferation of new channels that connect brands to consumers. While these allow brands to advertise outside of traditional mediums like television, it has made the ecosystem much more complex. There is no one vendor that serves as the central supply-side source to keep the ecosystem for brands and advertisers running smoothly — and given the way we consume media, brands need to be able to see across these walled gardens through to all of their other advertising channels.
By the end of 2020, we’ll see a major change in how the ecosystem is plumbed, with adtech integrating into one system for advertisers — or one system for publishers. As big brands come to terms with the demand for transparency, and regulations foster the need for a simpler ecosystem, we can expect significant disruption to existing advertising models. The ideal system will be one that provides a higher level of transparency and accuracy for measurement.