Decoding Advertising

Decoding Advertising with Fabio FEDELE, former Head of Ad Operations at Teads

February 16, 2021 5 min read
Decoding Advertising


Decoding Advertising with Fabio FEDELE, former Head of Ad Operations at Teads

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Advertising technology has revolutionized the way brands interact with their audiences and has enhanced the way advertisers and publishers interact with each other. This is why any advertiser or publisher worth their salt should have a deep understanding of what AdTech is and how it works.

To understand how different players are contributing in this and how well connected the ecosystem is, we conducted an interview with Fabio FEDELE, former Head of Ad Operations at Teads and Dailymotion. He provided us with invaluable insights into his journey both from the supply to an advertiser’s side.

In our conversation with him, we understood what steps buyers and sellers can take to ensure that we have a transparent ad tech ecosystem.

Fabio’s Journey from AdTech to APAC

While interviewing with VDO.AI, Fabio had come up with not just his expertise, but also stormed us with his immense talent and determination to build a successful team in order to drive up user engagement and traffic on different websites.

“My journey in the AdTech has been amazing so far, even more since I’m in APAC! It is a very fast-paced industry and its dynamic ecosystem always has something to learn from. With new trends and formats/inventory, I feel awestruck to see how the Open Web is adapting today. The walled garden (GAFA: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) shook a little when Google announced the death of 3rd party cookies from their browser. With this, the industry emerged with solutions like Unified ID from TradeDesk, ID5 solution, Graph ID solution. This simply shows how fast and efficiently the industry is reacting and adapting. Another trend that comes up in my mind is the strong emergence of CTV inventory and advertising. This trend mainly has stemmed up with the onset of COVID which has strongly changed how users today are consuming content.”

– Fabio

On CTV Advertising

We have extensively covered the rise and growth of OTT and CTV advertising. After the onset of the Covid-19, we saw some drastic changes in the numbers that have pushed advertisers, publishers, and marketers to focus their ad expenditure on CTV and OTT industry and prepone their shift towards that industry.

Fabio had an interesting take on the OTT and CTV trend:

“2021 will be an exciting year when it comes to CTV advertising. With the advent of COVID, the world got stuck at their homes and people resorted to more SVOD, AVOD content. This change led to an increase in supply and at the same time accelerated all their ongoing monetization projects. If we take some examples of the publishers today in APAC like Viu, iflix, WeTV, TrueID, iQiyi, LINE TV, they all have different business models combining Ad-supported content and/or subscription-based content. I’ll not be surprised to see also a shift towards Ad-supported content offering, because of programmatic buys with the combination of first-price auction and header bidding that will help publishers to get Premium CPM, and to optimize their fill rate.

– Fabio

“Today even if it’s an emerging inventory you can find that some publishers are already advanced in their monetization strategy whereas others are just in their learning stage. We have recently seen SpotX being bought by Magnite. With this merger, a strong emergence of CTV offers for buyers is lined up for all. Having said that, the DSPs are in a good position with more and more projects springing up for buying CTV inventory programmatically. TheTradeDesk highlighted in their last OTT report with Kantar, that around 31% OTT penetration can be witnessed across SEA with more than 180MM viewers.

– Fabio

On Adopting Newer Publisher Strategies

We are seeing the technology grow and develop multifold in the past few years. Hence adopting newer tools like Native Engagement Units, Video Advertisements, CTV and OTT advertisements have become necessary for both the advertisers and publishers.

On the same, Fabio pointed out the below reasons for a shift from traditional strategies to modern solutions:

Scaling: lately, people are consuming more video content than ever. From AVOD to SVOD, business, and monetization opportunities are where all the eyeballs are. All the AdTech players are gearing up to take over these strategies.

Offering: Today brands/buyers are interested to reach a specific audience, and the inventories where your audience is. Plus on the other hand, if you’re not moving with the market trends, you may miss revenue opportunities and subsequent growth.

Programmatic: I know I’ve highlighted this a lot during my interview, but as an advertiser adopting modern solutions is an opportunity to earn a good CPM with the first-price auction. On top of this, if you’re using Header bidding, it will help to increase your fill rate.”

– Fabio

Thoughts on Demise of Third-Party Cookies

We all aware on Google’s decision of scrapping off third-party cookies from 2022. These cookies has helped the publishers and advertisers by showing user targeted ads based on one’s browsing history. 

Even though many solutions are underway, most publishers and the ad tech professionals are still unsure on how they intend to survive in this storm. 

We asked Fabio about his thoughts on the same and he said,

“Cookie less browsing is not a new concept. iOS and Firefox were the ones to make this move a couple of years back by cutting down the 3rd party cookies from their browsers. Now Google already has a dominating position in the walled garden like Facebook: the credible and powerful source of1st party user data. On the other hand, Google has announced Privacy Sandbox to smoothen cookie less advertising. The data would stay on the user’s device and is going to be privacy compliant, according to Google.”

– Fabio

If we have a closer look, the industry it’s just shifting from using 3rd party cookies to 1st party cookies.”

– Fabio

Impact on the Industry During COVID-19 Onset

The initial COVID confusion and stress caused ad revenues to plunge causing closures, layoffs, furloughs, etc. The impact has now subsided and fortunately, many publishers have almost recovered from the loss.

We asked Fabio about the same and how were the ad revenues impacted during COVID-19. He said,

“To start with, in the most common language, when the industry got hit with COVID wave, the revenue dropped. Advertisers really slowed down their spent.

The recovery was faster for certain markets and industries, largely because of the country-specific social and political factors. I also believe that this onset has changed the consumer behavior and consumption patterns in the society. Users are more inclined towards online shopping more than ever. Speaking from an Advertisers’ point of view, even if branding is still important, more and more buyers/advertisers are now expecting guaranteed results, shifting their spends towards Performance Marketing Campaigns. This shift was quite evident at Teads from Q2 to Q4 2020.

– Fabio

Fabio’s Podcast

“I launched mAdcast, a podcast that talks about the dynamic world of advertisement and media in 2020. What really made me enter into the podcast sphere was my thirst for dispensing knowledge, and my passion for the AdTech. Through my content I wish to educate aspirants, industry leaders and passionate students inclined towards the industry. As of today, the podcast business is still quite new yet is rising at a high speed. I’m a newbie in this business and am steadily approaching to 300 downloads in a day. I’m optimistic and hopeful, it’ll soon be something we all will forward to. “

– Fabio

About Fabio

A programmatic expert and a strategic advisor, Fabio has contributed in firms like Dailymotion and Teads through his expertise in the AdTech.

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Mehak is a Marketing Associate at VDO.AI. An enthusiastic marketer and a creative writer, she reaches out for the books when monotony calls for an escape.