Posts Tagged ‘Scientific Revenue’

Zero Look and the upcoming tectonic shift in ad tech

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

We are at the beginning of a tectonic shift in the ad tech ecosystem. For much of the last decade ad tech companies have been fighting for “First Look”. This is about to change.

When a user launches an app their presence creates an impression, and typically launches an ad request. These days most ad requests end up in an auction environment, where thousands of advertisers can see this impression and bid on the ability to show an ad to the user.

“First Look” refers to the chance to see an ad impressions before anyone else. Conventional wisdom holds that First Look impressions are more valuable than impressions that have been grazed over by multiple buyers/advertisers. The value is made up of a timing efficiency and the fact that the first buyer can snatch up valuable users before other advertisers even have a chance to show an ad.

Over the years, ad tech vendors have deployed multiple strategies to see impressions before the competition. Static mediation chain adjustments, guarantees, private auctions, private deals, and now header bidding.

I believe that tomorrow’s confrontation is not going to be about “First Look”, but rather about what happens before the first ad request. Perhaps we can call this the “zero look challenge”. Publishers will make critical inventory decisions before initiating ad requests all together.

As machine learning becomes more prevalent, publishers will be able to recognize their incoming users, create micro audience segments, and dynamically adjust the content and experience just for them. The result is active and intelligent user lifecycle management.

Publishers will be able to create bespoke experiences that are specifically tailored to particular users. They might change the design, manage game actions, adjust the content, add levels, and even manipulate pricing. At its core, it will also include making the decision between the various monetization options: In-App-Purchase events, advertisements, and subscriptions.

Making these real-time decisions will bring publishers closer to the ultimate goal of holistic lifetime value management, and probably represents the next frontier for supply side platforms.


PS:  Here are a few startups trying to tackle broad zero look challenges. Some approach it from a dynamic pricing perspective, and others focus on the fundamental building blocks of CRM and audience segmentation. mParticle, Wappier, Gamesparks,, Clevertap,, DeltaDNA, Game of Whales & Scientific Revenue