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Being able to track users across devices is something that advertisers have pursued yet struggled with, lured by the fact that multi-device shoppers are more valuable. But what can be a struggle for digital advertisers has been listed as a top industry opportunity in 2019, according to a survey [download page] from Integral Ad Science of more than 900 digital media professionals in its database.

Cross-device measurement was chosen as one of the biggest opportunities for the digital advertising industry by almost half (46%) of respondents.

Close behind is an area of substantial growth and industry excitement. Indeed, the second-largest opportunity (of the 5 identified) is OTT, as indicated by 45.5% of digital media professionals surveyed. With 59.5 million US homes watching video on streaming devices and more than half (56%) of media buyers investing in OTT, it’s no wonder that 7 in 10 (69%) marketing professionals surveyed are investing more resources and/or budget in OTT this coming year.

Digital advertisers are also seeing opportunities with multi-touch attribution modeling (43.6%) and video (36.9%). They also believe that advanced technologies like AI and machine learning (36%) will offer big opportunities in 2019.

Agencies (49.8%) and brands (50.8%) agree that cross-device measurement is one of the biggest opportunities in 2019, but they differ when it comes to the other top opportunities. For agencies, multi-touch attribution modeling (54.0%) and OTT (53.7%) held the most promise, while by contrast, AI (49.2%) and video (49.2%) are where brands see ample opportunity.

Data Privacy Is A Top Priority

While measurement is seen as a big opportunity this year, concerns around the legality of using consumer data make harnessing this data a source of worry. Amid the adoption of GDPR, data privacy concerns have become the top priority and greatest concern for more than half (55.8%) of respondents. In fact the vast majority (93.9%) of respondents agree that data privacy will become a greater concern overall, while 9 in 10 (93.3%) feel that data privacy regulations will become more strict worldwide.

Data privacy concerns are something that agencies and brands agree upon. When broken down by respondents group, the results indicate that 51.9% of brands and 60.0% of agencies see data privacy becoming the greatest concern in 2019.

ROI Attribution Threatens Ad Budgets

The need to find a way to clearly demonstrate ROI has not gone away in 2019. According to the survey’s results, three-quarters (75.4%) of brands and two-thirds (66%) of agencies believe the inability to connect campaign exposure to ROI or return on ad sales is a threat to digital advertising budgets. For agencies, the only thing that they see as more threatening to ad budgets are fraudulent impressions (69%).

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: IAS surveyed 912 digital media professionals from their database. Survey respondents represent various digital media sectors including agencies, publishers and brands.

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