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Disintermediation in adtech is hot

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Disintermediation in adtech is hot

Everyone eats each others lunch in adtech, but not nearly as brazenly than they do now.

It seems like a month goes by without an ad tech vendor chasing down another customer base with a comparable service. This is not a new trend in ad tech.

Vendors have been disrupting traditional media agency roles for years by disintermediating one another. It’s been inferred and not stated explicitly by these companies. They could step on each others’ toes, but not too much.

Ari Paparo is the CEO of Marketecture, an industry veteran’s most recent venture that aims to help clients make sense of adtech’s shifting sands. He explained the history behind the “push-and pull” business model that distinguishes demand- and supply-side platforms.

” They have different interests, and the SSPs desire as much listening [i.e. participation in an ad auction] and bidding[i.e. participation in an ad auction] as they can.” he stated. “The DSPs don’t want any listening because they are concerned about losing money, but bidding is what they do .

They have different interests. The SSPs want to hear as much as possible and bid as often as they can. DSPs prefer to listen as little as possible.

Ari Paparo, CEO, Marketecture

For instance, The Trade Desk implemented a new approach to supply-path optimization last year called Global Plament ID ,, a trend that sources expect their peers to follow, not to forget its Open Path initiative.

This is contrary to the preference of media agencies to establish “beneficial relationships” with supply-side players that give them technical benefits or financial benefits when it comes time to getting their hands on the most desired ad space. Paparo pointed out that many ad-exchanges are beginning to formalize “volume buying discounts,” agreements that don’t always go well with DSPs.

Times change and conflicts intensify

But markets evolve. Companies either adapt or fail when markets change. And with a slew of new ad tech companies traded on the open market in the last 18 months, the CEOs of such companies are now eyeing new revenue streams as a result.

As there is too much at stake, more advertisers are shifting more of the activation their programmatic advertising towards the sell side. This is where the sustainable data can be found. It’s no surprise that this is the place where disintermediation takes place. Anybody with enough influence in programmatic advertising will try to gain more control over this market, even if it means that they are encroaching upon each other’s turf.

DISINTERMEDIATION BREAKDOWN

Happenings on the sell side; Differiated by nuances; Rakes existential questions about adtech vendors.

New entrants shift focus

Take Integral Ad Science as an example. Although it is an ad verification company, its most recent move makes it more like a large SSP.

Dubbed Total Visibility, IAS’ new tool sounds similar to what SSPs have been pushing to marketers in recent years. The tech allows marketers to find the best route to premium publishers, and then determine a fair price for their inventory.

Not that what IAS is doing is straight from the SSP playbook. It has enough distinctions. It is possible to compare the financial impact of blocking ads against premium inventory, and the cost of premium inventory. It is argued that the path to impression can be used in the same way a programmatic buyer considers time of day, week, website, ad sizes, audience, bidding and other optimization factors.

” We believe that advertisers need solutions that monitor and optimize both media quality as well as media costs to achieve optimal results,” stated an IAS spokesperson. “Total Visibility goes beyond traditional supply path optimization to identify the most effective channels for purchasing high-quality inventory at a cost-effective price. Total Visibility is more than traditional supply path optimization. It identifies the best channels to purchase high-quality inventory at a low cost .”

These nuances aside, it is clear that IAS is competing (a little) with SSPs. They are no strangers to disintermediation. They have been trying to reach out to publishers who traditionally pay DSPs to help them grow their publisher-focused businesses.

SSP managers felt they had to be the preferred pipes for inventory for marketers, as they weren’t the only pipe to publishers. DSPs did not feel threatened enough to return favor in any meaningful way. However, the issue of third-party addressability (or lack thereof) put an end to this. This makes advertising on large areas of the open internet more difficult. Ad tech vendors are forced to segregate the good parts.

It’s not about disintermediation being okay in the adtech industry, it’s all about what makes sense right now.

Rob Webster is chief strategy officer at Canton Marketing Solutions

“In past times, enough fat was available to go around multiple vendor types. But publisher buying doesn’t require a DSP or SSP, content verification and so on, as long-tail does,” stated Rob Webster chief strategy officer of media consultancy Canton Marketing Solutions. The DSPs, SSPs and publisher consortiums are all needed to control this premium publisher space which is half of CTV. It’s not about disintermediation being acceptable in the adtech industry, it’s about what makes sense .

Historical conflicts flare-up

The events of the past quarter show how temperatures are rising.

Take, PubMatic — traditionally in the business of helping publishers sell ads programmatically — reported that it made more than a quarter (27%) of its Q4 2021 revenue from helping advertisers buy better impressions.

On one side, The Trade Desk (the industry’s largest independent DSP) convinced more publishers via its Open Path initiative to license ad tech from it. And not long afterward, GroupM licensed ad tech from PubMatic and Index Exchange itself to exert more control over how impressions are bought and sold.

Don’t forget to keep up with the privacy-induced consolidation wave.

Even the language around disintermediation is changing. It is not always portrayed in the negative light that it was in the past. It raises many existential questions about the value of certain vendors in ad tech. Are they really necessary? Are they just a bunch of middlemen who are looking to make a profit? If you look beyond these issues, there are still existential implications for the industry’s structure that need to be considered — for the better or worse.

“We are focused on building the digital media supply chain of tomorrow, which connects buyers and sellers, publishers, retailers, consumers, data platforms, and everything in between in an efficient, transparent and data-rich manner that is fraud-free,” stated Rajeev Goel (CEO of PubMatic). This is a new way of thinking about the SSP that has been used in ad tech. This is how we organize our thinking and prioritize, focusing on how to create value for different stakeholders

In many ways, the shifting role of SSPs in programmatic is a microcosm of the broader disintermediation wave engulfing ad tech.

“SSPs are going to continue to evolve in order to remain relevant in the ecosystem, beyond just bringing incremental demands to publishers,” stated Dan Larden of TPA’s U.K. head. Simply because there will never be one buying platform that does all for advertisers, it is logical to use an SSP to standardize and innovate across your different buying points

— Ronan Shields, senior reporter, advertising technology, contributed to this report

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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