Privacy legislation and changes imposed by the browsers have eroded the connections that hold together ad tech, the death of the third-party cookie being most prominent. Over the last five years, we have seen huge moves from the power players, buying up smaller, specialized companies to build integrated tech stacks. Oracle acquired AddThis, BlueKai, Datalogix, Grapeshot, and Moat (to name a few), creating a diversified data + DMP + validation + measurement business in only a few years. This has encouraged the growth of niche ad tech companies focused on winning in narrow categories–supply aggregators, data management platforms, multi-touch attribution providers, and sequential and dynamic creative personalization shops.
But with the ad tech glue dissolving, disparate technologies stand to lose. With the conservatism of last year in mergers and acquisitions, successful companies have built up their war chests and are starting to spend this cash to grow their businesses. Ad tech M&A activity surged in Q1, with 4 transactions of a billion-dollars-plus, after 5 years with none over a billion. These variables are providing the catalyst for the next wave of consolidation that is occurring, creating an opportunity for marketers to tap into an innovative and unified
approach, such as with the Quantcast Platform.