Digital Media Advertising Technology Trends for 2018

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No other industry is changing as rapidly as the digital advertising technology. Each year brings new debates and issues to all ad market players. However, only those companies, which manage to keep pace with the existing trends, will stay on the edge of the technological wave.

2018 is going to be a promising year in many different ways. In 2018 we’ll see huge strides in the introduction of fresh technological solutions and in the adoption of new standards and regulations.

Let’s look at the major digital trends that will shape 2018:

Mobile Advertising

With the increasing number of smartphones and tablets, and the amount of time spent by users on their mobile devices, the percentage of mobile advertising has multiplied over the last few years. In 2017 global spending on mobile advertising was $143.54B. According to Statista, in 2018 this number is supposed to jump up to $185B.
It means that all ad content and video advertising, in particular, should be optimized for the smartphones.

Mobile Video

Mobile video continues to be on top in 2018. A bunch of new tools has been added to adverts to encourage users and brands to manage and share videos with others over different social media platforms. Mobile video is expected to grow from $18B in 2017 to $22.5B in 2018.


The digital industry is preoccupied by sensible issues like brand safety, transparency, and ad fraud. This pressure has forced market players to take specific steps to create a more transparent, advanced and controlled digital advertising ecosystem. The introduction of such effective initiatives as ads.txt, Ad Experience and Abusive Experiences is planned to stop fraudulent inventory across media buying platforms, focusing on quality and brand safety.

Native Ads

Native advertising will remain to spread exponentially over programmatic ad campaigns and social media. See the chart below.


In 2018 we’ll see a growing demand for data-driven, personalized and targeted ad campaigns matching consumers’ certain interests. There will be a shift from buying ad inventory based on property to buying ad inventory based on the certain user. This will allow advertisers to be more effective and create messages that reach a more narrow audience in a short time. Ultimately, companies, using a “surgical strike” approach, will lead the digital advertising in 2018.
However, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is to come into force on 25th May 2018, will considerably affect the personalization trend in the European Union. GDPR is supposed to give people more control over how companies use their personal data and introduce exorbitant fines for companies that fail to comply with the new rules.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and ML were cited everywhere as a key transformator of the coming years. AI algorithms and machine-learning techniques will be extensively applied for programmatic media trading. It will bring more transparency, higher ROI, automation to execute the huge number of transactions, digital sales optimization, and accurate targeting strategies.

Header Bidding

Header bidding is one the year’s hottest trends in programmatic trading. Nowadays 70% of publishers are using header bidding technology, compared to 0% in 2015. As for 2018, its popularity will only continue to grow with publishers and advertisers, allowing them to maximize the value of the impression and providing the access to more valuable inventory.

Voice Search

Search technology is becoming more mature, while paid-search starts to decline in popularity. Brands must adapt and optimise their websites for voice search. With voice personal assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, more and more people resort to voice search rather than typing keywords. What’s more, the number of digital voice-assistant devices is supposed to rise up to 15.2m in 2020.

While 2017 was a rough year full of disruptions and debates, 2018 promises to sort everything out. To cut a long story short, as the digital ad spending is steadily growing, we expect more innovative developments to shape the industry in the years to come.