Auf Wiedersehen, DMEXCO! Learnings from Cologne


Digital advertising has seen a period of incredible transformation in the past couple of years. In what feels like a blink of an eye those of us in ad tech have seen many new innovations and created better, more effective ways for both advertisers and publishers – and demand and supply partners – to foster omnichannel activations among consumers.

RhythmOne, which joined the Tremor International family earlier in 2019, has also seen a great period of change – and opportunity. We have been working closely with our sister divisions to fortify our reach and capabilities, culminating in the expansion of our programmatic platform into many new markets across Europe, APAC and LATAM. As such, it’s always interesting to be at a big conference like DMEXCO to meet former colleagues, make new friends, and talk to our peers about the future direction of our business and the digital marketing industry as a whole.

As ever, DMEXCO 2019 was a busy couple of days, and we wanted to share some of our top insights from our time at the world’s biggest digital conference in Cologne.

Trust and Transparency Reigns

Of course themes like trust, transparency, and brand safety are on everyone’s minds, but we found this year that the conversation moved away from lamenting the impact of GDPR and the inability to use the third party cookie, to genuine discussion around “clean data” and the importance of building direct relationships within the ad supply chain. Advertisers actively want to understand how and where their ads are placed, and rightly so they want to be part of the process of finding effective ways to reach their unique audiences. On the supply side, digital publishers now have more options than ever to leverage data to drive value for their inventory. But data adds complexity – so many publishers are looking for the best tech and tools to increase supply value, protect their brands, and enhance (and protect) the consumer experience.

Tuning Into Advanced TV

Advanced TV – encompassing over-the-top (OTT), connected TV (CTV), addressable TV and addressable video on demand (VOD) – has hit the mainstream in the US, and Europe is quickly catching up. By 2023, eMarketer projects that 158.6 million users in Western Europe will view subscription OTT video – an uptick of 19.2% over the 133.0 million estimated to use it today*. There was much interest and discussion at our stand into how European advertisers can capitalize on this trend; and it’s important for advertisers to take an omni-channel approach to their digital strategies now – not just focused on mobile or display, but to hone-in on inventory across all screens.

Burgeoning Global Tech Platforms are Gaining Momentum

Where once conversations may have been focused on the “duopoly” of Google and Facebook, we’re seeing new and disruptive platforms emerge. A case in point is TikTok. Considered a top platform to watch, especially among users in the Generation Z set, TikTok’s heavy presence at DMEXCO echoed recent RhythmOne insights (including recent coverage in Mobile Marketer and Talking Influence) regarding its potential for brands. It remains to be seen whether TikTok can effectively create complimentary (and relevant) advertising placements without annoying users, but the opportunities are boundless if they can.  

DMEXCO 2019 offered the perfect platform to discuss the ways RhythmOne can continue to meet the needs of our advertisers, publishers, and partners to keep the ecosystem ticking as effectively as possible. We raise a stein to this year’s conference and look forward to seeing everyone there next year as we continue to build our global presence.

*Subscription OTT Video Viewers, by Country (eMarketer, August 2019)