Jeff Green on Facebook, identity, and the future of TV
'Television is perfectly fragmented.' The Trade Desk CEO on why this is good for marketers
Jeff Green, CEO and cofounder of The Trade Desk, ran the gamut on all things digital marketing during a recent podcast with Andrew Casale, CEO of supply-side platform Index Exchange.
Green, known for his candor and acumen about the industry, spoke on a range of issues that included whether Google would meet its deadline to phase out third-party cookies, Facebook, supply chain optimization, and what the future of TV will look like for advertisers. Here, we share three key takeaways from their discussion.
Is the future of TV multiple walled gardens?
Publishers such as Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal and many others are starting to offer their own platforms for advertisers to buy TV media. That’s led some to speculate that the future of TV will exist in multiple walled gardens, with each having their own proprietary buying platform and measurement solutions. But Green doesn’t believe that will be the case, as TV content is created by many different companies — not a select few.
Green doesn't see how Netflix will be investigated for antitrust. "Netflix will never have so much content that people will say they have all the content," said Green.
Unlike the web, where content is created by millions of different publishers, TV programming is created by a few hundred different studios. It’s an “optimal degree” of fragmentation, according to Green. “Coordinating and servicing millions of publishers like you see on the web is very difficult,” he said. “That’s not the case with CTV.”
Still, despite this balance, CTV is not without its challenges. The channel is widely associated with the stigma of consumers seeing the same ads over and over. Green believes the issue can only be overcome by having an open ecosystem. “It’s impossible to justify $40 CPMs when there’s no control with reach or [how often someone sees an ad],” he said. “There has to be a more open ecosystem if publishers want premium prices for their premium content.”
That creates room for companies like The Trade Desk, according to Green, as they offer capabilities for advertisers to manage things like reach and frequency while also running campaigns across multiple different publishers.
In discussing the implications of Apple’s moves to limit the ability of platforms such as Facebook to track users across apps in an ioS environment, Green stressed that it’s a “story about identity.”
Unlike Google, Meta-owned Facebook doesn’t obtain its data through search. The social media platform has the means to track various users through its apps (four of the top 10 most downloaded apps are Facebook owned), but the environment those apps operate in are controlled by Google and Apple. “It underscores the importance for publishers to be part of the open internet," said Green. “They must have strategies around identity and privacy that enable relevant ads while at the same time enabling consumers to have high degrees of control around their privacy.”
Supply path optimization
Saying Green is laser focused on the ad tech supply chain might be an understatement. He believes that price discovery — which is an economic term for how easily an industry can determine the price or value of any given commodity — is paramount when trying to scale a business in any market. “One way to summarize the effectiveness of Amazon is to say that they’ve been obsessive about the supply chain,” said Green. “They figured out a way to shorten the time it takes to complete manufacturing and get it in the hands of a consumer at prices that are only enabled by obsessing about the supply chain.”
To that end, Green said publishers should enable signals that would allow price discovery for advertisers. A DSP, for instance, might see 10 million ad opportunities each second, but those lacking the data needed to enable price discovery will be overlooked, said Green. “If you’re a publisher and you’re trying to create the most demand for your inventory — which I think all publishers should — then enabling price discovery is one of the most effective things you can do.”
Casale “couldn’t agree more,” adding that the economic incentive for publishers to enable price discovery “has already arrived.”