2018 may bring new changes to the online advertising market

From the formation of stricter guidelines to a growing concern over fraudulent practices, online advertising went through a year-long adjustment period. Alongside record-breaking growth, the platform sought to settle into a sustainable format which delivers on promises to advertisers and customers alike. Estimates from eMarketer predict advertisers in the U.S. will spend almost $48 billion on online advertisements.

Customers are predicted to move away from a more open-market approach towards purchasing advertisements. For instance, it was reported earlier this year that global revenue lost to the fraudulent advertising method “spoofing” could potentially reach $16 billion by the end of 2017. In addition to potentially lost revenue, advertisers have had difficulties in recent years using large platforms such as Google, Facebook and their subsidiaries.

For years, such companies have held to the mentality that the web is too large to police; therefore, it’s hard to determine exactly where their customers’ ads will appear. In YouTube’s case, a daughter company of Google, multiple investigative reports and articles this year revealed advertisements were running on videos promoting hate speech or other illegal activities. For years, YouTube used to proudly display the volume of videos uploaded to their platform. Now at 65 years of video uploaded per day, that volume has become a challenge for YouTube to monitor and a warning sign to many advertisers.

“Taken together, the openness once touted by Google, Facebook, and Twitter has taken on a new, shall we say, less positive, meaning in the advertising world. The conversation there became about “brand safety,” and based on the steady string of stories this year wherein Google or Facebook got caught running ads in an “unsafe” fashion, neither company has given the marketing world confidence it has a real handle on the monster challenge of policing massive open platforms.” –Mike Shields, Business Insider

Many companies are returning to direct advertising buying, whether through digital or traditional platforms. Estimates from BIA/Kelsey predict local advertising spending in the U.S. will surpass $151 billion in 2018, a 5.2 percent increase from last year. Despite online advertising’s consistent growth, traditional media such as newspaper and radio, still account for 65 percent of all local advertising spending in the U.S, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Ad Spending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For e-commerce businesses, growing their websites through organic traffic is sustainable in the long-run, cuts costs that would be used to purchase advertising space and raises traffic at a higher rate than a PPC program would. Dirxion online catalogs offer SEO guide pages that involves a process of indexing every page of the printed catalog. This practice helps boost the overall SEO of the online catalogs site, as well as increase the likelihood of someone finding a catalog page when searching a company’s brand name. In addition, Dirxion online catalogs offer a variation of ad platform services for customers through widgets. The widgets, which come in a variation of sizes and implementations, can be either integrated into an existing advertising program or the customer can sell space directly to customers without having to use an external advertising service.

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How IAB guideline changes really marked the end of Adobe Flash

Quickly — think of an industry that is still rooted in Adobe’s Flash technology?

Yes, a technology that has been on a downslide since the advent of smartphones; a technology that is nearing further disability from major browsers for its security vulnerabilities; and a technology that now exists in pseudonym (see “Adobe Animate”) because its creator so desperately wants to move on.There are a few answers that come to mind, like computer gaming and video streaming, both of which are realizing the need to wriggle out of Flash’s development grips and find their way toward a more-reliable future. After all, Chrome and Firefox unexpectedly blocked Flash technology a little less than a year ago today. The block, though temporary, sent a grim message across the web to Flash developers: move on or risk having nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The industry that Dirxion is concerned with, of course, is digital publishing. This industry is stubborn and resilient in its use of Flash, even though Adobe wants more to be recognized for its own transition to HTML5. Still today, nearly 10 years since the release of Apple’s first iPhone, most digital publishing kits are brought to you by Flash.

Actually, let me paraphrase the question — what industries sell online advertising for their websites?

It’s not a trick question. Too many to even count.

Each of these industries has been touched by Adobe Flash. Let that passive voice sink in for a moment. Anyone who has posted online advertising in the past five years has likely been relying heavily on Flash. It is that pervasive.

But now, nearly a year has passed since the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) laid out an overhaul to its display creative guidelines that make HTML5 the new standard in interactive marketing. The efforts further encourage agencies to move away from Adobe’s Flash, which for years has been the unofficial standard. It was a hugely-important-but-unsurprising move by IAB. It really marked the end of Adobe Flash, and here’s why.

Google is no longer accepting Flash-based ads on Jan. 2, 2017. Go ahead and put that on your calendar as the execution date for Flash. In the U.S., Chrome is leading the web browser marketshare and trending further upward. It would come as no surprise if the other major browsers followed suit. There is little doubt that IAB’s guidelines precipitated such a plan.

Google said the move will “enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices.” It will also force a bevy of online advertisers to shape up before next year. Changes will come even sooner, with June 30, 2016, being a prominent date on which ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing. If things aren’t clear enough, Google deliberately points out that “it’s important to update your display ads to HTML5 before these dates.”

Some loyalty to Flash is easy to understand: since its invention, Flash has been the lifeblood to industries like digital publishing. Dirxion, along with everybody else providing such services, was at one point deeply entrenched in Flash.

But IAB, Google and a whole wide world of HTML5 developers wants to show us that Adobe Flash is the past, HTML5 is the future and too many of us are stuck in a messy in-between. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like there is an option, and it is mobile-or-bust in a smartphone-entranced society. HTML5 will eventually prevail.

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Browser market shares show online catalogs where compatibility matters

In a world of devices that often creates a digital bubble, wherein users grow comfortable with specific browsers and operating systems, two specific players are managing to separate themselves from the pack. Chrome continues to grow its web browser market share (now 61.2 percent), and Android is even more dominant among mobile operating systems than before (65.19 percent).

Web developers pay close attention to market shares among browsers, operating systems and screen resolutions, in order to make the right compromises when two competing platforms can’t both be optimized. The browsers and operating systems come out with frequent updates that can change some of the compatibility that had already been established. This means features in web products like online catalogs might now need tweaking to function properly.

These discrepancies are often referred to as “bugs,” which can be easily created by browser and operating system updates. For the most part, however, a strong backbone to the developer code and the use of widely-accepted development language, like HTML5, can mitigate a majority of these potential problems. Developers who still rely on software like Adobe Flash run the risk of stumbling into significant problems with these updates because the code isn’t as flexible and browsers are not as concerned with its functionality.

Nonetheless, choices must be made and lines must be drawn as to where a web product claims it is compatible and where it is not. Dirxion’s online catalogs, for example, focus on the four major web browsers — Chrome (61.2 percent), Safari (15.9), Internet Explorer & Edge (8.2) and Firefox (6.3). This means that its product testing and QA teams check out the online publications performance and corresponding features on a variety of versions of Chrome, Safari, IE/Edge and Firefox. Dirxion’s products could still work fine on Opera (2.9 percent); however, that won’t be guaranteed.

Browser Market Share

 

A similar methodology is given to mobile operating systems. With Android and iOS comprising 96.25 percent of the market share, and Windows Phone only holding 1.59 percent, Dirxion’s QA team gets their hands on a variety of Apple and Samsung devices but does not test on Microsoft phones. Similar strategies are used by web developers throughout the Internet.

Operating System Market Share

 

Dirxion uses a mixture of HTML5, Javascript and CSS to create its online publications. This is the result of a full move away from Adobe Flash about five years ago. There will be some concern though for online publications companies who still rely on Flash for their browser versions. Chrome, whose market share is a significant majority, seems to be on the brink of disabling Flash entirely. This will break Flash-based online publications and leave HTML5 as the primary solution to Flash’s problems.

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