Can Wall Street’s ad tech love affair last?

Life beyond the cookie

by Ronan Shields (Digiday) – November 16, 2021

In an echo of the early-to-mid 2010s, 2021 saw an abundance of public ad tech listings, in part fueled by special purpose acquisition companies.

According to an index from investment bank LUMA Partners, there are now 23 publicly-listed ad tech companies with much of them disclosing their quarterly earnings in recent weeks.

However, as stocks list on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, there are also mounting public concerns around privacy that lurk beneath the surface.

Major platform providers Apple and Google are turning off the data hose that helped ad tech prosper in its nascent days as a response to laws such as General Data Protection Regulations and California Consumer Privacy Act.

As a result, some question if the ongoing boom period is sustainable. After all, the rise of publicly traded ad tech in the 2010s was soon followed by a sharp decline, even before stringent privacy laws arose across the globe.   

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