A Year Like No Other

A Year Like Any Other

Happy Holidays, MGID community!

Happy Holidays, MGID community!

For many of us working in the advertising business, last year felt more like a decade.

The ad tech industry has entered a period of intense change with unpredictable regulatory shifts, consolidation waves that struck key players and the rise and decline of media channels.

2021 has been a momentous and transformative year and so many changes are expected to continue. Thank you for your trust and confidence and willingness to innovate, learn and grow with us.

To our dear clients, partners and friends, we wish you a happy New Year. May the holiday spirit of love and joy accompany you in all turbulent years to come!

Let’s celebrate the end 2021 and watch excitedly for all that is to come in 2022!

Before we turn the page on this year, we invite you to spend a bit of time with us recapping the major events of 2021 and predicting trends that are likely to come into fruition next year.

2021 Major Events in AdTech

Google’s new algorithm update

With the Core Web Vitals (CWV) update launched in May 2021, page experience has become more important for publishers to achieve high SEO rankings and receive more organic traffic. Google described newly added ranking signals, CWV, as “a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, to help site owners measure user experience on the web.”

This update aimed to promote a more user-friendly browsing experience on the web and pushed website optimization to the top of publisher agendas in the first half of 2021. However, around 50% of the top 100 most visible websites still fail to comply with Google’s benchmarks on Core Web Vitals.

Cookie-pocalypse delayed

In June 2021, Google delayed the blocking of third-party cookies on Chrome — which initially had been expected to launch in early 2022 — until 2023. The decision was caused by Google’s engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority and the feedback it received from regulators when testing FLoC, Google’s possible replacement for cookie targeting. The stay in cookie deprecation has allotted more time for all market players to test alternative solutions and prepare for the inevitable change.

Google’s data-driven attribution

Google Ads is switching from last-click to data-driven attribution to better measure which ad touchpoints contribute to the most conversions. The new attribution model is designed to take into account ad impressions that are seen or heard but not clicked on and attribute a certain amount of credit to all past ad touchpoints.

Coronavirus rebound

Global marketing spending rebounded significantly in 2021, returning to ad spend growth levels that exceeded the pre-pandemic levels. This year marketing worldwide spending has climbed 7.2% to $1.376 trillion. Digital media has been the largest contributor to this growth, growing its share of total ad spend from 40% in 2019 to 51% in 2021.

Facebook’s big push into the metaverse

In June, Mark Zuckerberg shared his view on the next evolution of the internet and the ambitious plan to change Facebook from a social media company to a metaverse company. In line with this new strategic focus, Facebook rebranded to Meta. Could it really bring us into a new world of interconnected VR experiences straight out of a sci-fi novel? We’ll see.

Antitrust scrutiny of big tech

Tech giants, including Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon, have come under more scrutiny from regulators. Google has faced numerous EU antitrust probes of alleged ad-tech abuses, which led them to postpone the cookie deprecation and Privacy Sandbox plan. The UK regulator has recently blocked Meta Platforms’ $315 million purchase of Giphy. Until now, these measures have mostly focused on curbing the current dominance of tech giants.

The rise of CTV

The pandemic streaming boom has pushed CTV advertising to new frontiers: between 2019 and 2021, CTV ad spending has more than doubled. In 2021, the growth of broadband connections has plateaued; however, advertisers have continued allocating more dollars for CTV, fueling further growth. Thanks to greater flexibility compared to linear TV, scaled targeting through programmatic buying and vast audience reach, it’s likely to remain among the fastest-growing channels in the next few years.

Retail media networks emerged

This year, the U.S. major multichannel retailers and online marketplaces decided to follow Amazon’s footsteps with its surging ad business and to launch their own media networks. Players already invested resources in building ones for Walmart, Instacart, eBay, Etsy, Target, Best Buy, Kroger and The Home Depot.

Telegram channels get ads

Telegram launched sponsored messages for promoting channels and bots. Currently, ads are visible in public channels on Telegram that have more than a thousand subscribers. They are based solely on the topic of the public channels and no user data will be mined. Telegram also launched a paid subscription service to hide the advertisements and support developers.

The new wave of mergers, acquisitions and IPOs

The latest wave of market consolidation is in the full swing, caused by the positive investor sentiment and industry evolutionary processes. Some notable deals include Mediaocean’s acquisition of Flashtalking, Capital Croissance’s acquisition of Smart AdServer, IAS’ acquisition of Publica, LiveRamp’s acquisition of DataFleets, and the list goes on. Add to this numerous SPAC mergers and IPOs: DSP AcuityAds, Innovid and IAS going public.

Loss of IDFA and iOS monetization puzzle

Launched in April 2021, iOS 14.5 lets users say yes or no to sharing their IDFA with apps and sites via a prompt. These privacy-focused measures have resulted in the critical mass of tracking-denied ad inventory, with prices 34%-44% lower. Game developers and publishers responded to these changes and adjusted their monetization strategies toward the broad-based audiences they would now attract.

New IAB's standards are coming to the buy side

In March, the IAB Tech Lab rolled out buy-side programmatic transparency standards, called buyers.json and DemandChain Object. The new protocols broadly mirror the already introduced supply-side standards and require demand-side platforms to publicly declare the buyers they represent and provide transparency around every entity involved in a specific transaction.

MGID’s Key Milestones in 2021


We’re landing on a new product feature — Rule-Based Optimization

With rule-based optimization, you can automate the blocking of non-performing sources and adjusting of the CPC to bring the actual KPIs ​​closer to target values.

TAG has recognized MGID with the Certified Against Piracy Seal

The TAG Certified Against Piracy Seal confirmed that MGID met the stringent requirements designed to reduce unsafe ad placements that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit products.

Breakthrough innovation is on the way!

We began working on the attention-based placement algorithm. The idea behind the solution was to locate the best ad placement within any article based on viewport data, i.e., how long certain page elements were displayed on users’ screens.

Within a few months, we developed the solution that automatically inserts in-content impact widgets into the “hottest” part of any given piece of content, putting brands front and center for potential leads.

Google’s Core Web Vitals update: we are ready!

For this year’s Google algorithm update, page experience became an important factor for websites to appear in search results. To make sure that our widgets did not affect CWV scores, we launched a number of features and improvements.

MGID’s product team has got a new boost

Dmitri Kazanski joined our product team as Head of Product for North America.

A new solution for the post-cookie era — Contextual Intelligence by MGID

We enhanced our optimization capabilities with the latest advances in modeling and machine learning and launched a proprietary targeting solution, Contextual Intelligence by MGID.

But it looks like the post-cookie solution wasn’t indispensable — Cookie-pocalypse has been delayed

Google extended the cookie execution deadline from the beginning of 2022 until late 2023 and paused FLoC testing due to the feedback received from the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority.

Not just one but two Bronze Stevie® Awards

MGID’s product was acknowledged by the judges for the cross-format yield optimization solution and attention-based placement algorithm that automatically inserts in-content impact widgets into the highest performing part of any given piece of content.

We won a new award from Martech Breakthrough Awards!

Contextual Intelligence by MGID was selected as “Best Overall AdTech Solution” at the annual MarTech Breakthrough Awards.

Ongoing market expansion to Romania continues

MGID delivered the next stage of its global expansion to Romania, offering premium inventory and highly-impactful ad placements to advertisers.

MGID integrates Oracle Moat

With the integration, MGID’s advertisers can benefit from increased transparency and ad verification by one of the world’s most trusted measurement companies.

Appointment of new VP of Sales

Madi Bacher joined our executive management team as Vice President of Sales.

Hot holiday marketing season

We have arrived at the biggest spike of the ecommerce and holiday marketing campaigns. Have you already launched your Christmas promo?

We’re landing on a new ad format — Motion Ads

Advertisers can now add animated GIFs to MGID ads.

It’s been such a busy year so far!

On the way, we reached the following numbers in the past 12 months.

1,503,504,978,937 content recommendations

241,208,045,937 viewable impressions

1,779,614,909 clicks

141,330 new campaigns created

17,714 publisher websites added in 2021

2,626,639 ad units created

136 advertising categories