The future of the digital advertising industry, and by extension the internet, are up for grabs. New regulations, changing public attitudes and new technologies mean that the business model that powers most of the content and services we enjoy online is challenged as never before.
The only way to predict the future shape of the internet is to bring together all of the different visions and viewpoints about how it should work. IAB Europe Interact 2018, which takes place in Milan this week, is one of a kind. It marks a watershed in the debate on the commercial basis of the internet. And it takes place just a few days before the enactment of GDPR.
IAB Europe has deliberately designed the Interact 2018 programme to bring together competing views about what people want from the internet, and how advertisers, publishers and platforms should provide it. With every major digital platform represented, we’ll hear a range of different visions of the future. Delegates will be able to find out whether the plans of advertisers and platforms really meet the demands of regulators and the public. They’ll also be able to explore the different options for advertisers and content providers seeking a sustainable business model.
During the conference, the European Union’s Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli will answer questions about his vision of GDPR and ePrivacy regulation, while MEP Daniel Dalton provides an alternative perspective. Leaders from Facebook and Google will outline their plans for evolving the digital advertising ecosystem and using data to enhance transparency. High-profile publishers such as The Financial Times, Axel Springer and The Telegraph will outline alternatives for monetising content. We’ll dive into results of the AdEx Benchmark Study, highlighting digital ad spend trends across Europe. We’ll hear about the practicalities of delivering and measuring digital advertising in the new landscape. We’ll explore the significance of artificial intelligence, of blockchain, and of voice-led technologies, and we’ll invite visionaries Amelia Torode and Evgeny Morozov to evoke alternative prospects for the future.
“This is a defining moment for the digital advertising industry, and therefore for the internet as a whole,” explains IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan. “With the GDPR coming into force this week, in combination with hold-over rules on ePrivacy, the commercial basis of a lot of online services that consumers are accustomed to be able to access in the particular way they wish – whether via subscription, or in exchange for being willing to receive advertising, or both – will inevitably be put into question. It is time for an open, open, honest and transparent debate about the risks and the opportunities, so that we can collectively define the best way forward in the post-GDPR era. We are excited to have this year’s Interact contribute to that conversation.”