A lot happened in the AdTech and MarTech world in Q1 2022.
To help keep you informed about what’s happening, we’ve put together a list of the main AdTech and MarTech stories, including news about Google Chrome’s new Topics API, the IAB Tech Lab’s Seller Defined Audiences, as well as the latest antitrust investigations and mergers and acquisitions.
Top Stories AdTech and MarTech News Stories
Google Chrome Shuts Down FLoC and Introduces Topics API
Back in July 2021, Google Chrome floated the idea that its interest-based advertising proposal — Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) — could be replaced by a topics-based advertising proposal.
On January 25, 2022, these suspicions were realized when Chrome announced that it would be shutting down FLoC and replacing it with a new proposal — Topics API.
Topics API is the latest addition to Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox and will replace its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) API, which was designed to run interest-based advertising but in a more privacy friendly way than ad targeting via third-party cookies.
Chrome will no longer work on the FLoC proposal and will instead focus on creating and testing Topics.
Read more about Google Chrome’s Topics API here:
- Get to know the new Topics API for Privacy Sandbox — Google Blog
- Google Chrome’s Topics API Explained + FAQs — Clearcode
Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox Opens Testing for Topics, FLEDGE and Attribution Reporting API
In late January 2022, Google Chrome announced that it would begin the first origin trials of the FLEDGE proposal and start a new origin trial for the Attribution Reporting API proposal in its Privacy Sandbox.
Then on March 31, 2022, Google Chrome announced that developer origin trials of Topics, FLEDGE and the Attribution Reporting API had begun.
Read more about the origin trials for Topics, FLEDGE and the Attribution Reporting API here:
- What to Expect from Privacy Sandbox Testing — Chromium Blog
- Attribution Reporting proposal: updates in January 2022 — Chrome Blog
- Proposed First FLEDGE Origin Trial Details — GitHub
- With FLoC In The Rearview, Google Will Test FLEDGE And Phase 2 Attribution Reporting – AdExchanger
Google Announces That Privacy Sandbox Will Be Extended to Android
On February 16, 2022, Google announced that it would be implementing its Privacy Sandbox initiative into Android.
This announcement corresponds with Google’s decision to stop passing its mobile advertising ID — Google Advertising ID (GAID) — to AdTech and mobile measurement platforms if an Android user opts out of ad personalization.
Read more about Google’s decision to introduce its Privacy Sandbox to Android:
- Introducing the Privacy Sandbox on Android — Google
- Privacy Sandbox on Android — Google
The IAB Tech Lab Launches Seller Defined Audiences
On February 24, 2022, the IAB Tech Lab released its first addressability specification from the Project Rearc initiative: Seller Defined Audiences (SDA).
SDA is designed to help publishers monetize their first-party data by creating audience cohorts that can then be passed on to demand partners (i.e. DSPs) in OpenRTB bid requests via Prebid.
Below is the IAB Tech Lab’s description of how Seller Defined Audiences works.
Publishers or their data partners determine audience attributes based on user interactions on their properties, map similar groups of users to broad, standardized taxonomy attribute descriptions (Audience Taxonomy), document audience characteristics/metadata via a standardized transparency schema (the Data Transparency Standard aka DTS), then relay taxonomy IDs within OpenRTB to inform downstream signaling by buyers.
Read more about the IAB Tech Lab’s Seller Defined Audiences here:
- Tech Lab Releases “Seller Defined Audiences”, Aims to Democratize Cohort Development for the Open Ecosystem — the IAB Tech Lab
- Meet Seller-Defined Audiences, The First Spec To Come Out Of Project Rearc – AdExchanger
Google’s Encrypted Signals Program Enters Open Beta
In March 2021, Google announced that it would be developing a new feature called Encrypted Signals Program (ESP) within its Google Ad Manager to help publishers share encrypted identifiers, including popular ID solutions like UID 2.0, with its demand partners (i.e. Authorized Buyers and Open Bidders).
A year later, Google announced that its Encrypted Signals Program has entered open beta, allowing publishers to start sharing these encrypted signals with their demand partners.
Read more about Google’s Encrypted Signals Program here:
- New ways for publishers to activate first-party data — Google Ad Manager
- Google’s Encrypted Signals Program Just Entered Open Beta — AdExchanger
- Google Gets Hit With Another Antitrust Complaint On The Same Day It Strikes A Privacy Sandbox Deal With The UK’s CMA – AdExchanger
- European Commission opens investigation into possible anticompetitive conduct by Google and Meta, in online display advertising – European Commision
- ‘Inaccurate and inflammatory’: Google moves to have Texas AG-led antitrust case dismissed – Digiday
- Ad Tech Vets Help Sharpen Ad Tech Regs; New Antitrust Bills Are Up In Congress – AdExchanger
Mergers, Acquisitions, IPOs and Funding Rounds
- 2022 Kicks Off With An M&A Explosion — AdExchanger
- ARICOMA Acquires Clearcode to Expand Its Presence in AdTech and MarTech — Clearcode
- TripleLift Acquires 1plusX to Build On Its CTV and Identity Strategies — TripleLift
- Tatari Acquires TheViewPoint to Build a Private Ad Exchange for CTV — TheViewPoint
- Magnite Acquires Carbon and Adds Nth Party to Grow Its Audience and Identity capabilities — Magnite
- Innovid Acquires TVSquared to Power Cross-Platform TV Measurement — Innovid
- Sabio Acquires Vidillion to Strengthen Its Position in the CTV Industry — PR Newswire
- Kargo Acquires Parsec to Measure Attention ion Mobile — AdExchanger
- Unbounce Acquires LeadsRX to Offer Marketing Attribution to Its Clients — LeadsRx
- iSpot Acquires Tunity to Monetize Out of Home TV Measurement — iSpot
- Singtel has appointed investment bank Moelis to explore a potential sale of Amobee – Digiday
- HUMAN (formerly White Ops) Raises $100 Million In Growth Funding Round Led By WestCap and NightDragon — HUMAN