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There are now over 400 direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that have collectively raised $3 billion in capital since 2012, according to an Inc.article. These DTC brands have built and sustained successful businesses largely through social media advertising on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but that’s now changing.

There’s more competition than ever among both DTC and large brands, and social media platforms, with their ever-changing algorithms that hurt viewability and deplete brands financially with diminishing returns.

Now, the very DTC brands that once found success on social are scrambling to more traditional media to find their audiences — including traditional and connected TV. …

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Television is arguably the greatest ad vehicle ever invented. There is tremendous excitement in advertising to treat it like digital media, with all its amazing tech, data and precision.

I worry this excitement is causing too many of us to miss a critical point, though. The shift from linear TV to streaming is nothing short of revolutionary, and the advertising that supports this content warrants a revolution of its own.

That revolution won’t happen by simply making TV ads more targeted or addressable. As TV goes over the top, it’s time to rethink the basics of TV advertising: how and when ads get delivered and how much control users have over that experience. Postponing this conversation means that by the time the industry gets targeted TV advertising sorted out, there won’t be enough people left watching commercial television. …

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Five years ago, if I told you that the world’s largest governments would be aggressively investigating the world’s largest tech companies, levying multi-billion-dollar fines towards them and talking openly about breaking these giants up, you would have told me that I’m crazy.

Think about it. Not long ago…

  • President Obama made it one of his calling cards to chum it up with the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Eric Schmidt.
  • Mark Zuckerberg — who’s now associated with putting democracy at risk, was viewed as exploring a run for president!

Back then, ‘GDPR’ wasn’t even in most people’s imagination. The digital ad industry was preaching self-regulation, and lawmakers in DC seemed fully on board with this hands-off approach. Congressmen wanted their kids to work at Google, not take it down. …

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Online advertising is fundamentally changing.

With increased pressure to bend to the calls for consumer privacy, corporations and governments are doubling down on regulations that block third-party technology that targets consumers. Recently, those winds have produced the California Consumer Privacy Act, GDPR, Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) initiatives. All are meant to protect consumer privacy and all have created roadblocks for the advertising programmatic ecosystem. That’s because programmatic entities rely on third-party cookies as the foundation for user-level targeting and measurement. …


Ari Lewine

Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, TripleLift | Forbes 30 Under 30

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