free html hit counter Behind the Banner, A Visualization of the Adtech Ecosystem - John Battelle's Search Blog

Behind the Banner, A Visualization of the Adtech Ecosystem

By - May 13, 2013

I’m very proud to announce “Behind the Banner“, a visualization I’ve been producing with Jer Thorp and his team from The Office for Creative Research, underwritten by Adobe as part of the upcoming CM Summit next week. You can read more about it in this release, but the real story of this project starts with my own quest to understand the world of programmatic trading of advertising inventory – a world that at times feels rather like a hot mess, and at other times, like the future of not only all media, but all data-driven experiences we’ll have as a society, period.

I’m a fan of Terry Kawaja and his Lumascapes – Terry was an advisory to us as we iterated this project. But I’ve always been a bit mystified by those diagrams – you have to be pretty well steeped in the world of adtech to grok how all those companies work together. My goal with Behind the Banner was to demystify the 200 or so milliseconds driving each ad impression – to break down the steps, identify the players, make it a living thing. I think this first crack goes a long way toward doing that – like every producer, I’m not entirely satisfied with it, but damn, it’s the best thing I’ve seen out there so far.

I am deeply grateful to all the folks who helped us make this happen, in particular Jared Cook at Adobe, and a legion of leaders in the industry who reviewed early versions, including Walter Knapp, Bill Demas, Ned Brody, Brian O’Kelley, Ann Lewnes, and dozens more who helped me research and imagine what this might end up looking like.

So take a look and tell me what you think. It’s far too complex to embed here, so we have it running over on the CM Summit site. If nothing else, it should get folks talking, and I hope you’ll help us make it better by leaving a comment here, or sending me mail with your thoughts.

Oh, and while you are at the site, check out the conference lineup. We are almost sold out of tickets, and it’s going to be one heckuva conversation, so please join us!

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6 thoughts on “Behind the Banner, A Visualization of the Adtech Ecosystem

  1. Fuji says:

    This graphic is exactly what I’ve been looking for in my quest into the depths of the internet ad industry. Really well done, although the text advanced maybe a second too soon on each slide. Anybody have any recommendations for books on this subject? I’m mainly interested in reading about how advertisers prove the value of their ads to their customers.

    • johnbattelle says:

      Thanks, glad you like it. I have not seen any books on this subject yet that I can recommend

  2. Chris Parente says:

    Thanks for this John — great visualization! One question — the mention of accepting the second highest bid — some clarification there?

  3. Krystal Yu says:

    Very impressive, John! Thank you for creating such an elegant visualization.