Seers and entrepreneurs: foreseeing the future of programmatic innovation

Pardon us for feeling a bit nostalgic, but it was four years ago this month we filed our patent for “Digital Advertising Platform With Demand Path Optimization.” 

While our clients have been reaping the rewards of this key component of our Smart Path Optimization Technology (SPOT) suite for months, now that the patent has been granted (U.S. Patent No. 11288699) we can actually talk about it. It got us thinking how much technologists are almost equally required to be futurists in order to drive their innovations forward. 

A lot has changed since 2018. Just look at how far AI, digital advertising and machine learning have come since then :

  • It was in 2018, that the USPTO issued U.S. patent number 10 million. 
  • There were 285,095 utility patent applications filed in 2018 in the US, and only 50% were granted.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) for most enterprises was still at an early, or planning, stage. In fact in 2018, Shane Legg, a machine learning researcher and cofounder of DeepMind Technologies, said AI was where the internet was in 1988.
  • Header bidding was just emerging from one-off implementations to a broadly adoptable, open source form. Still in its infancy, header bidding was just standardized with Prebid release 1.0. 
  • Machine learning headlines dominated the global ad market due to its increasing usage for the prediction of consumer’s behavior. 
  • Paul Sallomi, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP, global TMT industry leader and U.S. technology sector leader, stated “We have reached the tipping point where adoption of machine learning in the enterprise is poised to accelerate, and will drive improved business operations, better decision making and provide enhanced or entirely new products and services.”
  • The global machine learning market size was $6.9 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to grow to $96.7 billion in the next 2-3 years. 

The time required to properly protect a new invention made us appreciate the foresight of our technical team, and the other inventors, entrepreneurs and visionaries who came before us. In a way, they must be like seers and soothsayers — requiring a combination of intuition, expertise and vision to create many of the modern-day luxuries we take for granted today.

In the case of our DPO patent, the focus is on four specific areas: probabilistic networks, auctions, optimization and machine learning. Rapid advancements in the three core digital technology building blocks — computing power, storage, and bandwidth —  are what have made such innovation possible. Our hope is to decentralize innovation and invite participation from beyond our organization’s walls so we can help other companies lower their infrastructure costs, and in doing so, reduce carbon emissions, which can mean millions of dollars in savings for our largest partners.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late nineteenth century. We think our mousetrap can benefit many, and we welcome partners who want to take the technology forward to create a well-lit and automated programmatic advertising ecosystem. Any company with a pre-bid wrapper or managed platform for pre-bid would make a great partner.

Want to find out more about the patent: 

  • Listen to the podcast to hear our founder and CTO, Stephen Johnston, talk about what makes the patent unique in the programmatic ad space and how it significantly decreases customer’s carbon footprint.
  • MediaPost talks about how our technology reduces the bid requests from the publisher by as much as 40%.
  • Read the press release about how PubWise records up-to-the-second intrinsic and extrinsic data along the path of every ad impression traveling through its system. 

It only seems fitting that we put a stake in the ground on where programmatic advertising will be four years from now. We believe the future will bring more revenue for publishers, better performance for advertisers, and a much improved experience for consumers driven by first party data, machine learning and radical observability. 

We have several other patents pending that we think also foretell the future of the programmatic ecosystem — each one emboldened by accountability, observability and performance across the supply chain, while also lowering the long-term environmental impact of digital advertising. If you’d like to join our movement, we’d love to hear from you!

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