Nanigans CEO Ric Calvillo talks to a lot of ad-tech analysts. Every time he asks them what the biggest disruption in the advertising technology space is, they say RTB, or real-time bidding.
But that’s actually much smaller than another, much bigger phenomenon, one that potentially threatens the entire ad industry.
“RTB is only $4-5 billion,” says Calvillo, referring to the exchanges that sell millions of ads per minute in hyper-efficient automated bidding mini-wars for real-time ad delivery via the web or mobile apps. “The online global ad market is about $100 billion … and between Google, Doubleclick, YouTube, and Facebook, direct-to-client ad sales via self-serve total about $20 billion.”
“So 20 percent of the market has been sucked out of the ecosystem.”
The ecosystem Calvillo is talking about, of course, is the ad-reselling ecosystem, which is increasingly occupied by a sometimes-bewildering mix of third parties that are middle-men between advertisers and publishers: supply-side networks, demand-side networks, ad resellers, real-time exchanges, and hundreds of specialist companies occupying dozens of niches in the big market of creating demand and selling stuff.