Xandr & Mediapalooza Dropouts
Turbulent times for Xandr and agencies turning down of pitches - WTF is going on?
Xandr up for sale
Sara Fischer at Axios reported on Monday that AT&T are attempting to sell its AdTech arm, Xandr.
I’ll spare you of the history of Appnexus>Xandr and the leadership changes they’ve incurred but InMobi seem to be in-line to take on the Xandr asset after Microsoft, Roku & MediaOcean have reportedly turned it down.
My two cents - Xandr has always been a confused entity. In AdTech when you straddle both buy and sell side it’s easy to ask questions about where product priorities lie which is fair - no company has unlimited resources, so understandable to think that these skew to one side or another.
However, my experience of Xandr has always been positive. They wanted to be the infrastructure with which advertising on the open internet was built on (see previous posts on how I feel about that!). Companies could build on top of this infrastructure, and many smart companies did well out of this by providing differentiation. Has this ship sailed? In my humble opinion - no, I think there’s big opportunity for them to thrive globally. See TTD market value (where future industry changes are priced in) to think there’s even a semblance of opportunity here.
All being said, I really hope Xandr end up in a good home, where tech is recognised as tech and it isn’t used as a way to house a ‘community garden’. Under a new company which is absent of corporate politics and I imagine some comms limitations, I’m extremely bullish about Xandr.
My two cents - fair play to agencies, sincerely. A good agency selection process is not lightweight, it has to be rigorous and by design these processes take up agency resources.
I’ve seen some articles say that the process is broken and cumbersome - from the processes we run, it isn’t. Brands need sufficient due diligence when they’re handing over significant budgets and responsibility for where their logo’s appear.
My advice to agencies; ask questions, make informed decisions, and (rightly or wrongly) pick the battles you think you can win and can advance your business. For advertisers, be transparent about the process and why you’re doing it.