2021 was a whirlwind of a year and had its ups and down for the entire industry. What started as a reluctant but optimistic return to the workplaces and normalcy inevitably led to the surge of the second wave of Covid. However, people across the world fared through yet another crisis and hopefully ventured out again.
The ad tech industry was privy to all these challenging scenarios, much like a lot of other industries. The show must go on though and we saw various developments, some of which took publishers and advertisers by surprise.
AdPushup’s journey through the last year was an interesting one. While we had to come up with new solutions to deal with the Covid-19 situation, our goal of helping publishers remained the same. The tremendous growth that we witnessed is a testament to the amount of trust a lot of publishers have put in us.
In this blog we aim to take a step back and look at everything that happened in 2021–both in the ad tech industry and at AdPushup. Appreciating all the good things and patting our backs for coming through hard times is the only way to dive head first into the new year and face new challenges.
AdPushup’s Journey through 2021
We’d like to start by announcing that AdPushup achieved 97% ARR growth in 2021! A lot of events during the past year led to this achievement, about which we’ll talk shortly. The people of AdPushup certainly played a significant role in helping the company achieve its target.
We added a number of new employees to keep up with the quality of work that we deliver. 30 new employees were added to the team in 2021 and we hope to keep growing at a steady pace in the future as well.
Besides the employees, it’s only fair to applaud the publishers who put their trust in us and helped us reach greater heights. Our client increased significantly this year–we catered to 50 new clients in 2021.
Now, let’s take a look at the key events that helped AdPushup establish itself as a brand, grow at the desired pace, and contributed to the overall success of the company:
- AdPushup became a part of the Display Lumascape in January 2021. The company is listed under the ‘Publisher Tools’ category as we offer publishers a range of proprietary technologies, such as header bidding, ad layout testing, and ad block monetization, to make ad monetization easier.
- We officially became a part of the Prebid community. This has allowed us to participate on a much larger scale in the industry and help more publishers. In the words of Ankit Oberoi, CEO & Founder of AdPushup, “…being an official part of Prebid, we aim to participate in the community more actively and contribute to the open-source project by releasing some of our features to the publisher community at large.”
- AdPushup was a part of the Financial Times list of The Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies 2021. To be more specific, we were recognized as the Americas’ 19th fastest growing company according to the list.
- AdPushup was recognized as a great workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The great work culture fostered by the management is primarily responsible for this accolade.
- This year we also hosted our first-ever women’s meetup. The idea here was to give a shoutout to all the women leaders in the ad tech industry. We also ended the year with another event focused on women in ad tech, which was more inclusive.
- We launched our podcast, Publishing Out Loud, and blog interview series, AdPushup Insider, in 2021 as well.
AdPushup’s Product Development
Everything listed above contributed to our success, but the primary part of our story is how we improved our product suite to help more publishers.
Let’s see the major developments that happened on the product front:
We launched a new AMP component, AMPlify, this year which aims to significantly boost the revenue for publishers. AdPushup’s component supports both client side and server side header bidding, thereby making it all the more efficient.
AMPlify further supports active view refresh, dual ad server (Ad Manager support), and has a single request architecture for improved Core Web Vitals.
AdPushup Script v2
With the advent of Core Web Vitals in 2021, user experience became an important factor for publishers. Due to this our script rehaul focused on it heavily. For instance, footer bidding and automated bidder selection and timeout optimization for HB partners aim to improve core web vitals. Script’s malvertising blocking feature also ensures uncompromised UX.
AdPushup’s ultra-light ad delivery script is 40% lighter than competitor scripts. Moreover, our modular roll-out ensures that only the most necessary parts of the script are sent to the user’s browser. The revised script also supports new ad formats–push-down, chained docked, and in-image.
Our dashboard updates revolved around giving publishers a more holistic idea about how their websites are performing in terms of ad monetization.
AdPushup’s revised dashboard widgets include:
- Google Analytics visitor data
- Payment status widget for direct access to the latest payout requests
- Ads.txt updation status to flag any anomalies or missing entries
- URL and UTM analytics which is industry’s leading feature for getting revenue analytics for the top 10,000 URLs and top 15000 UTM combinations
We further integrated anomaly detection systems on the dashboard that flag ad delivery issues or anomalies in user behavior. Publishers can also see how they are performing as compared to their competitors by viewing average revenue, PVs, page RPM, session RPM, eCPM, and revenue channel-wise breakdown (HB, AdX, Exchange Bidding).
A major development in 2021 was the introduction of the Engagement Product. With the lowering attention span of users in addition to the increasing number of options for practically anything on the web, increasing page sessions and engagement can be a real task for publishers. Because of this, we came up with a product that boosts session duration and reduces bounce rates by 5%.
The product comprises a few solutions that are specifically designed to increase time on page for publishers:
- Link Previews: Wikipedia style link previews when the user hovers over hyperlinks. This is a great solution for content-heavy websites and allows users to spend more time on the website.
- Internal links: Our machine learning driven creation of internal links helps significantly boost session metrics in addition to improving on-page SEO.
- Video recommendations: Video content is all in the rage right now and we have taken advantage of this fact to help decrease bounce rates for publishers. AdPushup’s article recommendation system leverages eye-catching videos for engaging users.
- Subscriptions: This solution allows publishers to build their own premium audience for boosting ad yield, improved content distribution, and building a moat that’s not dependent on third-party cookies. Quality content deserves to be appreciated and if subscriptions remain the only way to do that, we have the ground covered for you.
We are currently in the process of beta testing AdPushup’s app monetization SDK. The product is capable of AdMob, AdX, and In-app bidding integration. Additionally, the user level auction optimization aims to boost the ad yield for publishers.
How the Ad Tech Industry Fared in 2021
We have all been defining the ad tech industry as a volatile space and that is absolutely true if we look at the various changes that occurred in the industry this year:
- Core Web Vitals became the talk of the industry when Google announced that they will be part of the page experience ranking signals from May 2021.
- Google replaced its Scaled Partner Management offering with Multiple Customer Management in July 2021.
- Google launched the beta version of Multiplex Ads, which are a type of native ad formats, not unlike content recommendation ads.
- The much dreaded cookie deprecation was officially delayed by Google until 2023. The search engine continues to support third-party cookies but has shared an updated timeline for phasing them out.
- AdSense publishers can now leverage desktop anchor ads for better ad monetization.
2021 was a year that continued on in the shadow of Covid-19. The ad tech industry witnessed a lot of changes and so did AdPushup.
We have exciting things planned for the coming year as we are aiming to take our business up a notch. New developments are underway through which we hope to help a wider range of publishers. We are definitely anticipating the coming year and hope to see our family grow, both in terms of employees and clients.