in Data & Insights

The Future of Display Requires Big Data & Real Time Chops

This week, as part of Internet Week New York, we gave a presentation at theConversational Marketing Summit, entitled “Rage With The Machine” and at theIAB Future of Display entitled “The Future of Display is Big Data & Real Time Chops”.  We spoke about the importance of big data and AI in the transformation of display advertising to a real-time bidded marketplace and the shift of ad dollars online.

At Quantcast, we are dedicated to making advertising relevant and audiences valuable, for consumers, marketers and publishers alike. Our products enable advertisers and agencies to understand, find and buy targeted audiences in real time and publishers and networks to win, execute and renew deals, driving better yield. We are constantly investing and evolving our technology to bring the most advanced solutions to the real-time media marketplace.

In our presentation, we discussed what we think it will take for display advertising to make the biggest shift it has yet:

•     For perspective, according to J.P. Morgan’s September 2010 report, $469 billion dollars are spent worldwide on advertising.

•     With only a fraction of that being spent online, (the IAB just reported $7.3 billion was spent in Q1 in the US) the shift from traditional media buying, where only handfuls of decisions are made over a time period of weeks, to a real time marketplace where billions of decisions must be made daily, each in in milliseconds, will require superior technology capabilities, unlike those the market is accustomed to working with

•     Consider this – every second 400,000 real time ad impressions are being traded, globally! Think about the implications of this shift – from making decisions about a few magazines, tv networks or websites, to considering hundreds of thousands of advertising opportunities every second! And the volume is growing significantly every single month.

•     We think that the majority of the world’s impressions are going to be real-time bidded in just a few years.

•     Leveraging this kind opportunity, and the massive data sets behind them, tofind the right customer, at the right time, in the right environment, at the right price, involves a level of complexity most companies cannot handle.

Being able to do so requires a suite of capabilities, a few of which we chose to highlight during Internet Week, and which we call ‘The Rules of Engagement’:

•     Real time interconnectivity – Marketers must be able to act in real time to buy millions, even billions, of impressions and choose between thousands, even millions, of different media properties in less than the blink of an eye. When each impression is fleeting you need to move swiftly to secure the best opportunities and hence real-time scalability is key. Your technology needs to be able to handle hundreds of thousands of decisions every second and, because media consumption is global, the decisions must be made from many global locations simultaneously. For some context, consider that Quantcast operates multiple data centers all around the world that handle in excess of 300,000 new transactions every second to enable this kind of decision making.

•     Petabyte scale supercomputing – Real-time media creates ‘big data.’ The volumes of data that must be interpreted to make good decisions are phenomenal, unimaginable just a few years ago. The best decisions, and hence media allocations, will be made by those that can make sense of this new media data landscape systematically. This is the age of petabyte scale computing and while one day a petabyte computer might be as common as your desktop machine, today it takes innovative computational architectures to achieve this scale – a feat only achieved by a handful of organizations worldwide  (several of which you’d need high level security clearances to get in to!) Today, Quantcast’s daily processing levels often exceed 3PBs.

•     Machine learning and optimization – In the move to real-time bidding, the problems become complex, not only do we need to optimize who we want to reach for any given campaign, we also have to determine where we might most effectively reach them¸ when we should do so and how much we might value each impression at. Suddenly the range of considerations is large for each individual impression, and there are billions of them to be made every each day. Holistic modeling and optimization using sophisticated artificial intelligence will provide you optimal campaign performance.

Thanks to everyone in New York who came and to Federated Media’s John Battelle and the IAB’s Randall Rothenberg for hosting us. We feel that display advertising has only just begun its massive transformation. We’re excited to play our part by creating products that position advertisers and publishers to succeed and thrive in this exciting time.

Posted by Konrad Feldman, CEO and co-founder of Quantcast.