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What January Tells Us About Digital Advertising in 2024

Men and women standing in front of a wall showing advertising technology predictions for 2024
Jon Schulz, Chief Marketing Officer, Viant

2023 saw a lot of change in digital advertising — everything from the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and continued growth of CTV to the announcement that Google will, finally, sunset third-party cookies in the Chrome browser by the end of 2024.

Now, a month into 2024, how are these trends continuing to impact the industry?

We sat down with Viant Chief Marketing Officer Jon Schulz to discuss how third-party cookie deprecation, artificial intelligence and CTV have already made an impact in 2024.

Q&A: Digital Advertising Predictions for 2024

Jon, let’s dive right in: What 2023 trends are we seeing continue in the new year?

Unsurprisingly, enthusiasm about AI innovation has continued to be a strong storyline in 2024, with a focus on driving real customer value. In addition, with Google already starting third-party cookie deprecation — the plan is currently to sunset 1% in Q1 and phase cookies out entirely by year’s end — there’s a sense that the numerous delays have left marketers not quite ready for the transition. Finally, CTV is still experiencing impressive growth.

Before we get deeper into AI and CTV, let’s talk about the end of third-party cookies. Can you discuss how this is already impacting advertisers, and what they can expect throughout the year?

Like anything that is “almost here” for a number of years, there can be a complacency that will lead to a flurry of activity to prepare at the last minute. The path forward for advertisers as cookies completely deprecate this year is around the “hows”: how to best utilize and activate their first-party data; and how to best leverage publisher data.  Clean room matching will play a role as well, as well as working with ad tech partners who can leverage cookieless identifiers that are interoperable across the ecosystem.

With the cookieless world in mind, let’s talk about one of the most popular cookieless channels — CTV. What kind of growth can we expect from CTV in 2024 from clients and the industry?

CTV will continue to be the main catalyst of growth in digital advertising and media overall.  The rapid growth of CTV has not only moved it past linear in terms of viewership, but CTV is now the core consideration of media plans going forward.  We continue to see more scale in CTV, and Amazon Prime launching ads in early 2024 will add additional scale.  The fact that an NFL playoff game was exclusively available on Peacock — and set a record for the most-watched event on a streaming service  — is case in point that large content owners are committed to streaming and are delivering big audiences on big stages.

OK, let’s talk AI. How do you see AI impacting digital advertising in 2024, and how is Viant leveraging AI in its solutions?

AI is much more than a fad or trend — it is a seismic shift on the level of the arrival of the internet itself some three decades ago.  Last year, there was a lot of interest and experimentation in the industry. In 2024, it will be about companies focusing on implementation of tangible solutions that deliver real customer value. 

As Q1 ramps up and we look to the rest of 2024, what developments are you most looking forward to in the year?

For me, it’s really how the industry can continue to drive the big three industry trends — AI deployment, CTV growth and the cookieless transition. From the advertiser perspective, it means finding and working with partners that see the potential and have a vision for these developments while delivering innovative solutions that help them in 2024 and beyond.


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