Thought Leadership

Programmatic Challenges & Growth for 2020

July 10, 2019
By Rubicon Project

At this year’s Interact Warsaw, IAB Europe sat down with James Brown, Rubicon Project’s Managing Director of EMEA, to discuss some of the programmatic industry challenges we may face in 2020.  Additionally, he provided his predictions on where the industry will see the most growth opportunities throughout 2020. Check out the video below.

Will we see new industry challenges in 2020?

I think it’s more of the same.  I think we got to a point where, certainly for me personally, someone who has worked in this industry for a long time, I was very tired of this kind of, I call it self-flagellation, where it’s like, just constantly beating ourselves up about everything that’s wrong. There’s lots of stuff that’s wrong in our ecosystem but I think, for me, 2018 was a tipping point for everyone to come together, understand what some of those major challenges are,

whether it’s a new legislation from the EU or whether it’s clarion calls from advertisers to ensure our ecosystem’s more transparent. You know, all the challenges around things like cookie deprecation and so forth. So I think all of those challenges still exist, and not to

mention some of the major technology players are still sucking out more revenue than the independent web would like. So all of those challenges still remain, but I think, for me, collaboration is a great example of everyone pulling together to make our ecosystem fit for the



Where do you see growth coming from in 2020?

So, the fastest-growing parts of our business are video and audio. Unquestionably. So I say video, audio, and OTT will be very strong growth areas for the industry as a whole, not just Rubicon Project. But audio, in particular, is something that’s quite close to our hearts at Rubicon Project.

And I think audio is a really interesting, interesting medium because, you know, I think the amount of screen time that we all have, at the moment, is kind of maxed out. We spend… it’s not possible to squeeze in any more screen time for all of us. But I think audio creates a really interesting opportunity where, you know, it enables advertisers to reach you when you’re not looking at screens, in a kind of a sympathetic environment. So it kind of creates a new, relatively untapped opportunity, rather than fighting for share of voice with some of the other formats, if you will. So those are my forecasts. 

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