Peer39 has its work cut out educating more brands and agencies to reach the company’s potential, Diez said.
One downside to being cookie-free ad tech is that contextual tech doesn’t fit well with performance marketing campaigns.
There also aren’t many independent contextual data suppliers in the market. The Trade Desk’s data partner marketplace has only two contextual data companies, Peer39 and Oracle Data Cloud’s Grapeshot.
That also partly explains The Trade Desk’s bid for Peer39. The DSP’s only previous acquisition was of the cross-device startup Adbrain in 2017.
In research prior to the acquisition, Diez said publishers and exchanges mentioned steep drop-offs in bids and CPMs on Safari since the Apple browser launched Intelligent Tracking Prevention, its new anti-tracking technology.
“That’s an opportunity for us to grow,” he said. “The value of that impression doesn’t change, but the targeting elements that were driving intelligence for advertisers and yield for publishers has disappeared.”
New privacy laws are also a nice tailwind for contextual targeting, if not much else in ad tech. Oracle Data Cloud’s acquisition of UK-based Grapeshot, which sold for more than $300 million, helped it diversify away from cookie-based data sales.
Contextual targeting is already a larger part of DSP data sales and the ad tech conversation in European after GDPR, Diez said. The California Consumer Privacy Act, which comes into effect next year, could spur a similar shift in the U.S., he said.
Identity-based targeting and audience data has driven ad budgets for the past decade or so, Diez said. But those tactics aren’t well suited for new privacy-based environments.
“I think we’re going back to our roots,” he said.