OPINION - What will Google do?
Something, but it is all up for debate
I’ve *loved* musing and predicting what Google are up to throughout my career. I can’t help it, it’s like some sort of obsession and recently those obsessive juices have been flowing given the news about them potentially splitting out the ads business into a separate part of Alphabet.
For context, those that know me know that I used to dislike Google, a lot. The way they started to conduct themselves from 2014 onwards (preventing DMP tags from firing in AdX, locking out YouTube supply from third party buyers, restricting what attribution providers could do, having but denying a last-look advantage in DFP etc.) never sat well with me - I always felt like they leveraged ‘best for the user’ to their own advantage without leaning into industry-wide initiatives. However, in recent times with The Privacy Sandbox & working in conjunction with the CMA in the UK I’ve started to walk back on my negative thoughts on them. Plus, all of the anti-trust moves against them means that I think they’ll start to open back up whether they like it or not (I will live or die by the interoperability sword).
The details are light on the offer from Google to break themselves up, but it’s fun to start thinking about what this may mean for buyers, intermediaries and publishers.
Does DV360 get divested because of the way they can easily manipulate demand to their supply?
Does Campaign Manager roll out into it’s own company without the Google integration benefits given it’s unreal dominance in ad-serving?
Does Ads Data Hub roll into a third-party company like LiveRamp?
Does AdSense get spun out into a company owned by private equity?
Do governments intervene and allow them to keep all of the ads business but impose limitations on what they can/can’t invest into their products?
The questions are endless, but one thing is for certain, the Google Ads business we know today will look completely different in 5 years time. It’s time for buyers, intermediaries and sellers to start readying themselves for that. And for Google…. who knows?
This is such a positive time for all of the industry.