GeekNights Monday - Online Advertising and Adtech

Tonight on GeekNights, Rym is back from his ski trip, so we resume our regularly scheduled shows with a review of online advertising and adtech. In the news, the Department of Justice is seeking to break up Google in some trust busting over online advertising and tech layoffs foretell difficult times ahead.

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Not only is Google the seller, buyer, and auction house in the add market, but the whole behavioral ad market has destroyed display advertising for real websites like newspapers. You can apparently just advertise to newspaper readers on other, cheaper sites, instead of on the original paper.

From Corey Doctorow in 2020:

"Say you visit the Washington Post. Dozens of brokers bid on the chance to advertise to you. All but one of them loses the auction. But every one of those losers gets to add a tag to its dossier on you: “Washington Post reader.”

Advertising on the Washington Post is expensive. “Washington Post reader” is a valuable category unto itself: a lot of blue-chip firms will draw up marketing plans that say, “Make sure we tell Washington Post readers about this product!”

Here’s the thing: the companies want to advertise to Washington Post readers, but they don’t care about advertising in the Washington Post. And now there are dozens of auction “losers” who can sell the right to advertise to you, as a Post reader, when you visit cheaper sites.

When you click through one of those dreadful “Here’s 22 reasons to put a rubber band on your hotel room’s door handle” websites, every one of those 22 pages can be sold to advertisers who want to reach Post readers, at a fraction of what the Post charges."

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Yes, that’s called retargeting. That’s why when you look at shoes on one web site, every other web site starts showing you ads for shoes.

What do you folks use on your phone for Ad blocking? I’ve used Adblock but it’s not 100%. Ad guard Pro seems good but only if you like Safari. Thoughts?

Pi Hole and ublock is a good combo that I used.

I’ve heard of it for products, I guess it’s called the same thing for website audiences? Never see any of it though :stuck_out_tongue:

On iPhone, Firefox seems to do everything except YouTube ads, and brave handles those, but I don’t quite trust it with actual data.

Adguard on Android works rather well, though works like a VPN so cannot be used while actually using a VPN.

The Adpocalypse is actually possibly starting to happen.

Nearly every major news, entertainment and technology company has been forced to slash its workforce in recent months as they face a slumping advertising market and other industry challenges.