Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: LUMA Partners; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

There's been an explosion in advertising and marketing tech deals this year, according to new data, a sign of life for a sector that not long ago was looking ready to crumble with the deprecation of third-party tracking cookies.

Why it matters: A collision of recent events — including the surge in e-commerce, gaming and streaming during the pandemic, a massive recovery in advertising, and the race to replace cookies — has made ad and marketing tech firms more palatable to public shareholders and more intriguing to private investors.

Driving the news: Outbrain is expected to go public this week. The "chum box" firm raised $200 million ahead of its IPO earlier this month. Its rival Taboola started trading publicly last month via a SPAC merger.

  • Taboola CEO Adam Singolda told Axios that investors are eager to capitalize on the growth of advertising with firms that facilitate transactions on the open web — as those that power their own closed transactional systems, like Facebook, face greater regulatory scrutiny.
  • Aside from the two chum box giants, there have been several ad tech firms that have announced bids to go public or have gone public in the past year, including Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify, Viant, AppLovin, PubMatic and Innovid.
  • Ad tech giants that have long been publicly traded, like The Trade Desk and Magnite, have seen their share prices increase ten-fold from five years ago. Even Criteo, which faced an existential threat when it focused mostly on ad retargeting solutions via cookies, has seen its share price recover from years-long declines.

The big picture: Big ad tech firms have for years held back from going public, in part because the markets never valued ad and marketing tech companies the same way they valued other tech companies.

  • "What’s fascinating is to see how few public companies, even as recently as four years ago, were public," says Terence Kawaja, the founder and CEO of LUMA Partners, a leading investment bank focused on digital media, advertising and marketing. "Today, there are 20+ companies that are public with five or six more coming."
  • Kawaja says there was a "pent up supply" of quality, scaled, profitable ad tech properties that were suitable for public markets, but the markets weren't valuing ad tech companies very high prior to the pandemic.

Another factor that's driving a surge in ad tech is the rise in ad-supported streaming.

  • “The mass migration of viewership from linear TV to streaming has created significant tail winds for the [connected TV] ad tech ecosystem which is now expanding into the public markets," says Tal Chalozin, CTO and co-founder of Innovid, an ad tech company that recently announced plans to go public via a SPAC merger.
  • "We’re very optimistic about the opportunity for Innovid as a public company given our legacy and focus on CTV advertising infrastructure.”
  • While YouTube is considered a market leader in connected TV advertising, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter and others are not yet major players, creating an opening for companies that facilitate digital TV ad-buying.

Be smart: There was concern years ago that privacy regulation and the sunsetting of cookies would kill ad tech. Instead, the opposite has turned out to be true.

  • "The deprecation of cookies has created a lot of change," says Mike Woosley, COO of Lotame, a large data management platform. Publishers are eager to find new solutions for ways to target consumers without using cookies, and are leaning on ad tech innovators for solutions.
  • Woosley argues that government scrutiny of Big Tech giants has actually caused some of the bigger players in the ad tech space, like Google, to back away from some of their dominant behavior, creating opportunities for other players in the market.

The bottom line: "There are a lot of companies going public and there is a lot of optimism," Woosley says. "A smattering are doing it through SPACs. With a SPAC, getting public is easy, but staying public can be very hard depending on your long-term results. So some of the public excitement needs to be proven."

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Streamers battle for operating system throne

Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The streaming wars are quickly shifting from content to distribution through TV operating systems.

  • Amazon Fire TVs, which will be available starting tomorrow, are the first product recommended when users search for TVs in their Amazon browser.
Oct 26, 2021 - Technology

Alphabet is still minting money

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Google and YouTube's parent company, Alphabet, posted earnings and profit that surpassed expectations in the third quarter, crushing digital advertising and easily bearing privacy changes from Apple.

Why it matters: Google continues to be incredibly profitable — it keeps growing in areas like Google Cloud and YouTube and has recovered fully from an advertising slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oct 28, 2021 - Technology

Google now removes images of minors from search results upon request

The Google search homepage. Photo: David Gray/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Users will now be able to submit requests to remove images of minors from Google search results, the tech giant announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes amid outrage over Facebook's negative effect on teens' mental health and lack of protections for children. In the wake of criticism from senators, tech companies are scrambling to set themselves apart.