Anyone involved in the advertising universe may have experienced minor or more significant declines in their earnings in recent years. This is not unusual at all, as it has been quite a challenging time for most of the world. Fortunately, we are now welcoming 2024 and entering it with new enthusiasm. Keep on reading to find out how we managed to keep the ball rolling in such harsh circumstances, and – let us tell you – the future looks promising!
Reasons behind the ad industry setback
Of course, there are many elements contributing to extraordinary situations like the ones experienced in the past years. However, some factors are more significant than others and require careful analysis in order to find answers to what we all had to deal with:
- COVID-19 pandemic
In 2020, when the whole world held its breath due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything seemed to stop working for some time. At a fast pace, many had to learn how to transfer their offline activities into the online world. Numerous industries have slowed down or completely frozen, and the impossibility of providing services in direct person-to-person contact has forced many companies to leave the market. Whereas all those, who could, were trying to endure this tough situation by providing as many services online as possible – in this period, we observed an astonishing increase in internet shopping, home deliveries, as well as remote learning and working possibilities. People’s lives got closed “in four walls” in front of our computers and mobile devices. This inevitably meant that the whole internet industry – and the activities taking place within it – reached its peaks. Even though it’s already the fourth year since the outbreak, COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought the world to its knees, and some changes in the entire human race’s way of living persist;
- Unbridled craze of 2021
The year following the pandemic, the world took a deep breath, and people were desperately looking for ways to return to their normal lives. After facing the inconveniences of lockdowns, quarantines, and numerous restrictions, almost everyone was experiencing the urge to evaluate their former life situation. What was also pushing towards a change was the post-COVID economic situation – interest rates in many countries were at a historically low level. Instead of saving for times that might never come (a lesson learned from the pandemic outbreak), people decided to enhance the quality of their lives by investing in goods on a larger scale than before. In fact, 2021 was a year of unbelievable expenditure and loan-taking. Such high consumption meant that a lot of money was spent on advertising to address the rising purchasing needs – that was also a year in which we experienced an 80% revenue growth! However, what seemed to be an excellent purchasing year, for how economically unrestrained, soon had to be paid back in the form of inflation;
- War in Ukraine
Although wars are unfortunately taking place in many countries worldwide, the outbreak of the one in Ukraine at the beginning of 2022 was undoubtedly shocking to everyone and influenced almost the entire world’s economy. Many European economies are interdependent, relying on each other’s resources, and with cutting ties with Russia, numerous companies had to entirely or partially remodel their ways of operating. From the ad industry perspective, many advertisers decided to focus their messages on calling for peace and spreading their solidarity with Ukraine. The world’s eyes turned to these extremely unpleasant events, not only for their gruesomeness but also for the fear of their possible escalations. Both economic and political uncertainty have caused marketing campaigns to be suspended or limited. Likewise, people began to focus less on everyday matters (such as online shopping) and to consider evaluating their functioning and safety, often deciding to start collecting savings “just in case”;
- Raging inflation
This is a resultant phenomenon in which the above three had a large share. Still, undoubtedly, higher prices of everyday products cause people to buy fewer “additional” or “nonessential” goods – and we have to agree that these types of goods are majorly shown to users in advertisements (as no one has to make ads to sell bread). While generating lower sales, the earnings of many companies decreased significantly due to the smaller budget, the number of broadcast ads, eCPMs, and, ultimately – publishers’ revenues dropped as well.
optAd360 versus the industry setback
As we noticed the declining trends in the income-generating capabilities that 2022 and 2023 brought, we have made every effort to look for ways to improve our services. Without any doubt, money is at the core of monetization, but in hard times, it’s necessary to focus primarily on different approaches. Here are the key goals we managed to accomplish in the past two years:
optAd360 AI Engine recognized by Digiday
Our machine learning-based technology for content monetization – optAd360 AI Engine – was among the finalists of The Digiday Media Awards Europe 2022 in the Best Publisher Platform category. The awards, attracting hundreds of submissions each year, aim to recognize the companies positively affecting the European media industry. The abovementioned category is supposed to find the most convenient technology that helps digital publishers achieve their objectives.
A step toward mobile app developers
At the end of 2022, we expanded our offer for mobile application developers by acquiring the Bidlogic technology. It automates mobile ad mediation by optimizing real-time bidding and traditional waterfalls to maximize the ad revenue generated by mobile content creators. The technology combined with our premium ad demand creates great monetization opportunities for the app developers. We are constantly looking for ways to enhance our offer in order to respond best to our clients’ observed needs.
One of Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies
Last year, we were also included in the list of the fastest growing companies in Europe – FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies – published annually by the British daily Financial Times. This recognition is a reflection of our efforts to help as many digital content creators as possible achieve their goals, thanks to the use of ad monetization.
optAd360 Publisher Dashboard
Last year, we released the optAd360 Publisher Dashboard – an intuitive panel to verify monetization effects. Thanks to that, our publishers can keep an eye on their ad revenue, analyze everything monetization and performance-related on an ongoing basis, and not have to stress about what earnings their digital content will generate. In the dashboard, you can update your ads.txt file and complete the necessary data regarding your account and the payment withdrawal – soon, you will be able to do that seamlessly, thanks to the new Billing Details feature! Additionally, especially in difficult times, it certainly helps our publishers that we provide a 30-day billing period so that they can enjoy the generated earnings from monetization after 30 days and not (like most companies from the industry) after two months.
In 2023, we became a Premier Google Certified Publishing Partner – an extraordinary distinction that we managed to receive as one of the first companies in the world. This means that we provide our publishers with security in the world of online monetization and guarantee access to the latest and most trusted solutions on the market, supported by the most reputable entities – like Google and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Website’s new language versions
A few months ago, we released six new language versions of our website – Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. We’ve undertaken this endeavor to better present our offer to people who use languages other than English on a daily basis. By the way, let us mention that we are the only one among our competitors to provide a website in so many languages! We know how important contact with business partners is, especially when it comes to a rather delicate subject such as generating profits. With that in mind, our team of Publisher Services Managers comes from all around the world and speaks 17 languages – this allows us to make the monetization process as comfortable and understandable as possible for our clients. We wished to provide that very same comfort already at an early stage of content creators’ contact with our company, hoping it’ll make at least this element of their lives seamless in these crazy times.
The future looks opt(Ad)imistic!
The earnings trend in the advertising environment declined throughout 2022, yet we noticed that it began to increase slowly in 2023. It’s a gradual return to what we once considered “normal”. That being said, it’s great to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we foresee a situation to get better – analyzing the first weeks of 2024, we can say that the winds are more than favorable!
We are constantly searching for ways to deliver the best solutions to the digital content creators who entrusted us with the monetization processes. One of the ongoing projects is the development of new features in the optAd360 Publisher Dashboard to make it as convenient as possible and to give you greater insights into your content monetization progress.
All the things we did during industry storms are intended to strengthen the sails of our publishers so their ships can accelerate and sail daringly through the seas of monetization once the ad industry situation gets better. Whatever comes along the industry’s way, dear digital Sailor, you can rest assured that we’ll be by your side, crafting solutions for your ad revenue’s glory!