Directory Traffic

2019 Advertising Predictions

As the advertising climate changes rapidly, we can’t help but look to the future to try to glean some insight on the changes to come. We asked the leadership team at a4 what they predict for the world of advertising in 2019, which is sure to bring more advanced tech, data and audience targeting capabilities. Below is a compilation of their thoughts on the upcoming year.


Michael Bartoli, SVP of Local Ad Sales

“In 2019, data driven advertising will be expected and demanded by agencies and clients (both local and national), included in this data will be full transparency and accountability. Companies that fail to provide this will be left behind and we will see a dramatic shakeup in the industry with some players exiting this space.


We will continue to see more advertisers adopt OTT, CTV and IP targeting, the confluence of all these solutions will require a planning and activation platform that can offer agencies/clients the ease of execution and delivery for their target audience.”


Mark Berlinsky, VP of Digital Sales

“For many years, the media industry has been saying that an impression is an impression. In 2019, all impressions should be treated equally on any screen or device.


Data-driven audience based advertising is today’s reality.  Clients can identify their target audience one time and target the consumer on all screens whether they are home or away, adding a true-closed solution will achieve koi goals for effective campaigns.”


Paul Haddad, a4 President

“I expect 2019 to bring tectonic shifts across the overall advertising landscape, but its most impactful effects will be felt among traditional television advertising companies. There will be increased consolidations and restructurings: major consolidations will continue to take place; the big will get bigger and the small will get weaker and/or be forced to exit. Standalone AdTech companies will face harder times; yet SuperTech companies will thrive.


It will be a challenging year for linear TV advertising: The traditional model will face tougher challenges in 2019, and potentially face the perfect storm. We expect continued decline in linear TV viewership hence lower ratings (and declining inventory availability) across all networks and dayparts. This will reduce the linear inventory supply, mostly on the scatter front. Reduced supply, lower demand, higher prices, inefficient/slow advertising sales process, and an outdated measurement model will motivate advertisers to adopt other mediums in a faster pace, or substantially increase their spending shifts to more efficient and economical mediums.


Companies with first and ‘unique/proprietary’ data assets will survive/thrive in 2019 compared to those who have to procure 2nd or third party data on the market. Companies with unique 1st party data (household data, authenticated individual data, authenticated IP targeting data, authenticated device graphs and geo-location data), will build new walls around their garden of data. Data privacy will take center stage among regulators and advertising firms.


Advertisers will increase their testing and adoption of audience based, multiscreen household advertising, and will finally realize the unique value for their dollars in pursuing this model. Authenticated IP Targeting will realize its full potential as the most accurate and most quality efficient way to implement targeted digital advertising in the industry. The in-house agency approach will increase among large and medium sized companies while the agency world continues to re-invent itself.”


Jordan Lieberman, VP of Sales

“2019 will be a reset year for political digital dollars, as spenders rethink media mixes in light of improved digital addressability, increased scrutiny of the social media giants, and uncertain regulatory landscape. The decline we saw in social media’s share political advertising market share in 2018 will continue into 2019, while the single biggest percent increase will be in OTT.


A number of state legislatures will follow Washington and Maryland in enforcing new digital political digital disclosure, which may make life hard for smaller digital media platforms. All eyes will be on 2020, as political digital ad dollars should reach approximately $2.5B.”


Rosie O’Meara, Senior Director of Product Management

“We can safely say that mobile no longer has to fight for its place in the media mix. In 2019, I think we will see our industry at large start to speak less about specific screens and more about the audience and consumer journey more holistically. This will also mean consolidation as media companies need to have a more complete solution.


Transparency and privacy considerations will have to follow as priorities — we have richer and richer data across devices and need to responsible with how we leverage it. It’s going to be a year of interesting changes in our space.”


John Povey, SVP of Marketing & Analytics

“Truth and scale will continue to cement its importance in video advertising and will become more within reach. Streaming device proliferation has hit a critical mass. Content creators and distribution networks are providing ever-growing ways to leverage behavioral data and target custom audiences. These companies have the reach and purity in data to establish national identity maps, which are core to moving beyond reach and frequency and measuring lift and conversions for all video exposure.


Identity data is key in measuring effectiveness in video. Rest assured new competitors will stand up walled gardens to protect it within each network and release new tools that allow marketers direct control of their plans and placements.”


Wael Sabra, VP of Product

“Being a multiscreen, audience-driven firm, we continuously monitor the delivery of each our audience-based multiscreen products. Therefore we have developed a unique audience-based view into the state of audience habits going into 2019. In short, 2019 is the year where the industry will feel the impact of declining ratings on linear TV on media investment.


Continued declining ratings will not only impact linear TV inventory availability and fulfillment but will also drive diversified video investment strategies towards more advanced, measurable media including addressable TV, OTT and mobile.


In 2019, national advertising will drive significant growth in OTT and CTVs while mobile advertising growth will continue to be strong in local advertising. This is why, at a4, we have positioned our products to capitalize on these trend by developing OTT/ CTV addressable national products as well as a significant investment in mobile local advertising (acquisition of Zapp360). All those products deliver on a4’s promise of being a single stop for everything audience on whatever screen they may be on.”