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2023 Predictions: Amazon, Retail Media, Identity, CTV and more

What’s in store for 2023? We asked Lotame executives to weigh in on the biggest trends and topics for the new year. 

Prediction #1: Amazon will unseat Google in big tech
Amazon is the new (and improved) Google. While the latter holds its death grip firmly on the ad products side of the business, Amazon not so quietly builds up an ever-growing tech stack to cover every and all marketing needs. Talk at its Unboxed conference celebrated its clean room capabilities. As the leading Retail Media Network, there’s ample cause to celebrate. The question remains whether these moves will put it in the crosshairs of antitrust or can they keep flying under the radar of government scrutiny … unlike their compatriots at Meta, Twitter and Google. – Eliza Nevers, Chief Product Officer

Prediction #2: Netflix will surprise us
Netflix will surprise everyone with “good advertising.” It’s got the people, pipes and partners to hit it out of the park. With AB InBev onboard, what could go wrong? Measurement won’t be a stumbling block either as TV hasn’t done a bang up job of metrics and the open web is in disarray. Will consumers balk? Likely not. If they’ll get a break on price due to ads, that may be enough of a carrot to stay. With so much original inventory, Netflix has a real advantage and more runway in global users than newer platforms. –  Hunter Terry, VP, Solutions Consulting & CTV Commercial Lead

Prediction #3: Retail Media Networks add risk / rewards to marketing
Brands will reach a fork in the road in 2023 and take one of two paths. In one lane are those without first-party data and a direct relationship with consumers, like big CPG. They’ll lean harder into retail media networks like Amazon, Walmart, Target and others, which are estimated to triple what they were in 2019 to $37.39 billion in ad spend per eMarketer. Consider these relationships golden handcuffs as they’ll rely on these networks for data. (Other verticals will follow suit, such as travel where Marriott International already broke ground.) In the opposite lane are those flush with data who will pull out of the retail media networks to erect their own fortresses, forcing consumers to go directly to their website or app to buy or subscribe. There will be increased competition in the category over the next one to three years as more retail networks emerge and more non-endemic brands get into retail media advertising. Whether handcuffs or bunkers, brands should consider the risk-to-rewards of either lane. – Alexandra Theriault – GM, Spherical

Prediction #4: Streaming sees upside in data sales
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, retail media networks should turn a rosy shade as CTV takes a page out of the former’s book. Every streaming service is going to try to create its own unique platform. Why? Because networks are the ones with the data. Take LG for example. They can sell inventory within LG TVs or send off the data they collect into the ecosystem and onto other CTV devices. Anyone who has customer data is going to package it and sell it . . . just like a retail media network. – Hunter Terry, VP, Solutions Consulting & CTV Commercial Lead

Prediction #5: Identity landscape to shrink as Google continues to kick the can
Despite urgency doubling around the need for identity solutions, 2023 will bring little to no progress as Google continues to kick the can down the road. As long as cookies exist, marketers will use them. Even those with mandates to target only on first-party data won’t realize their identity partners are relying on cookies. WIth zero real use cases to prove those aforementioned in-market cookieless solutions work, the most exciting development in 2023 will be far fewer companies in business. The identity landscape will continue to shrink over coming quarters from more than 100 transactable IDs to a top four or five. – Eliza Nevers, Chief Product Officer

Prediction #6: No single solution for CTV in the foreseeable future
Amazed and confused are the prevailing sentiments around CTV. There will not be a single solution, at least for the time being. The industry will become even more compartmentalized and disjointed, which will make measurement more difficult. We see it every week when a big streamer or OEM wants to set up its own offering accessible only via its platform. Case in point: Apple just announced they are creating their own DSP specifically to focus on their CTV offering. – Hunter Terry, VP, Solutions Consulting & CTV Commercial Lead

Prediction #7: Publishers will turn to ID solutions to break though email’s scale barrier
More publishers will start hitting a wall with their subscriptions. Gathering email addresses has been the core of many publisher first-party data strategies, but authenticated email has hard limits on how far it can scale. Any publisher looking to expand their audiences beyond email will be shopping around for alternative ID solutions, which we are already hearing today from vertical-focused publishers. Chris Hogg, Chief Revenue Officer 

The above predictions are featured in The Drum, WNIP, MarTech, AdMonsters and MediaPost.