Amazon vs. Google vs. Facebook: The 2017 Advertising Climate

Ad Tech became an increasingly popular topic throughout 2016. Last year’s trends in the digital ad industry shook up the way consumers, content creators and industry operators interact with ads. A few of 2016’s most crucial trends include the rise of ad blocking software, increasing popularity of video-based ads, interactive ads/gamification, new platforms (such as virtual reality and augmented reality) and the takeover of native advertising.

With the new year upon us, the advertising industry will continue to adopt new technologies and adapt to the frequently changing preferences of consumers. Although many young tech companies found a large degree of success last year, 2017 will be defined by the intense rivalry between the three main voices in ad tech; Google, Amazon, and Facebook. These tech leaders control a vast majority of the industry with a combined market cap of over $1 trillion.

The highly competitive nature of ad tech is forcing each of the companies to operate within the industry using unique approaches. Google’s massive success can be attributed to its automated selling process. Although Google has benefitted from a strong advantage over the past few years, a new tactic referred to as “header bidding” is shaking up the competition and allowing Facebook and Amazon to gain ground.

“Header bidding technology upended the traditional waterfall structure, which saw online publishers take bids in succession from distinct groups of buyers, starting with the most promising and taking the first acceptable offer that came along. Header bidding lets publishers take multiple offers for their ads all at once and gives advertisers a more even shot at inventory in the process,” George Slefo of AdAge said.

Amazon will attempt to entice publishers through a more efficient, cloud-based header-bidding platform, moving the process of advertising from the consumer’s browser to remote servers. In addition to Google and Amazon, Facebook is currently developing its own unique take on header bidding API.

More competition will undoubtedly bring positive changes to the way publishers advertise to the consumer. With the adoption of more effective strategies, 2017 will be a pivotal year for the tech industry overall.


Taylor Ross