2020 has been really tough on many industries, advertising well among them. But the ad industry has already been in the midst of a series of unfavorable changes – aimed at curbing abuse and protecting user privacy.
It sucks to be in the ad business.
Big corrections are here… and continuing
Signs of looming cutbacks are widespread. There is talk of 25 percent downturns in ad business revenue, prompting substantial layoffs and budget trimming. Forrester is predicting as many as 52,000 job losses among ad agencies in 2020 and 2021, with half of them never returning.
Twitter is even considering the idea of paid subscriptions to make up for lost revenue. And there’s growing acknowledgement that marketing operations are generally way too big and way too inefficient.
“They’re now having the realization that they can do twice as much with half as many people,” said someone in a New York Times report.
iOS 14 has a major stinger in store
The next release of iOS is very likely to have significant effects rippling across the digital ad ecosystem. Specifically, it’s a new feature that will greet users with a pop-up modal asking for permission to be tracked across apps and websites.
The modal states that user data will be used for delivering personalized ads. The user will be granted the choice of allowing or blocking the ability to be tracked.
This change could really hit Google and Facebook and their networks of digital ad purveyors. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if their execs are in a state of constant lobbying to try and win concessions from Apple.
Facebook’s CFO openly admitted that material effects of this change are expected to hit the social media giant by the fourth quarter of 2020.
A silver lining may be in store
If you’re a marketing or content creation freelancer, or a small / boutique agency, you could stand to benefit plenty as companies look to slim down their budgets and reduce their marketing spend with big-time agencies.