In the fast-paced adtech industry, the amount of information and discussion happening every day can be overwhelming. Between the acquisitions that seem to happen almost weekly and the emerging technologies that pop up overnight, it can be tough to keep up on ad tech news. We get it.

In a world where distractions are at an all-time high, we’re distilling the first week of December 2018’s top industry headlines down to what you really need to know:

Adtech News

  • From 7 pm to 7:45 pm on Tuesday, publishers saw mysterious yellow 300×250 ads blanket their sites. Turns out, the yellow ad appeared across the United States and Australia because of a training mistake made by a Google team that helps customers learn how to use the platform. To the relief of many, Google said it will pay publishers for the yellow ad error.
  • A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and the picture it presents is very different from the F.C.C. numbers. Their analysis suggests that speedy internet is much more limited, especially in rural areas.

Emerging Technologies

  • Shortly after Verizon was first with the original Samsung 5G news, both AT&T and Sprint announced that they will be getting the handset as well in 2019.
  • The number of smart TV owners who have connected their device to the Internet has increased to 83% of owners, according to new research. The number is an increase from 70% who connected their TVs to the Internet in 2014. More connected devices means more opportunities for streaming and OTT services, prompting expectations for new advertising opportunities.

Social Media

  • When Facebook decided to archive political ads earlier this year, it took a very broad approach, opting to also archive ads that mentioned hot-button political issues. Now, Facebook is carving out an exemption for news organizations. Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern shares the specifics in his recent blog post.
  • Think you’ve had a bad year? 2018 has been especially difficult for Snap Inc., with the stock declining by close to 60% year to date after the company redesigned the Snapchat app to users’ dismay. Competition from Instagram is also a growing concern as analysts review what to expect from Snapchat in the coming year.

Data & Privacy

  • Despite privacy regulations, marketers are on par to spend $19.2 billion on third-party audience data as well as technology and solutions to manage, process and analyze all that data in 2018. To break it down, marketers increased spend on third-party data from $10.14 billion last year to $11.94 billion this year (a 17.7% boost), and grew their spend on data activation tech from $6.17 billion to $7.23 billion within the same time frame (a 17.2% uptick). This goes to show many believe there’s value to be had in third-party data, despite the bad rap it often gets for murkiness and inefficiency.

TV & Video 

  • It’s been 14 years since “Friends” wrapped with that last tearful group slog to Central Perk, but the old “Must-See-TV” sitcom has roared back into the spotlight this week and reaffirmed its relevance to content providers. This came as fans of the show had a meltdown on Monday when a notice on the show’s Netflix page indicated that it would no longer be available to stream after New Year’s Day. However, new insights suggest the show is expected to make the jump to Warner Bros.’ new digital offering in 2019.
  • For the first three months of the TV season, video streaming services’ media spending on traditional TV airwaves has risen at a steady pace versus the year before. Specific stats surrounding media spend and airings by platform are now available.

What will happen next year, next month, or next week? In this industry, it’s anyone’s guess. But if you want to keep up to date on what’s happening in ad tech news, stay tuned to our blog.