2023: The Year Programmatic Embraced Efficiency

With the end of 2023 nearing, I wanted to share some of my reflections on the last 12 months. As we’ve often observed over the years, the world of programmatic is dynamic and unpredictable, and this year did not fail to disappoint.

We saw numerous transformational events impact ad tech, from supply-side consolidation to SSPs attempting to represent both sides of the market to the unfortunate fallout from MediaMath’s bankruptcy. We also saw continued growth in video and streaming TV, and most resonate to us at Index, an accelerating market-wide demand for improved trust and efficiency throughout the ecosystem.

Given the unprecedented macro-economic environment we find ourselves in, media owners have weathered strong headwinds this year. At Index, our primary focus continues to be serving our media owner customers to help navigate continued uncertainty in the market while maximizing their yields, and empowering DSPs and marketers to realize stronger returns for their media investments. The events of 2023 have underscored the importance of strong, reliable partnerships and clear customer focus.

Our approach has allowed us to progress towards our vision of delivering total market efficiency. A more efficient marketplace, built from healthy competition, rewards everyone—marketers can put more of their investments toward working media and media owners can realize those dollars and fund incredible content for all of us.

We’ve worked throughout the year to introduce even more efficiency and performance through our continued innovations in machine learning that curates the ever-growing scale of the exchange—now topping half a trillion transactions daily—and building and accelerating industry standards like OpenRTB 2.6. We’ve also made ongoing upgrades to our infrastructure, including a new hardware spec that operates at three times the throughput and half the electricity.

Thanks to these investments, we’ve realized tremendous growth in the rapidly expanding streaming TV market. We know that there are many challenges to solve in a fast-growing channel like video, and we’re committed to collaborating across the industry to unlock the full potential of programmatic.

As part of that commitment, we launched a new educational initiative this year, Index Explains, to break down the complexities of ad tech, with a specific focus on streaming TV in 2023 and more topics to follow. There can be so much ambiguity and complexity in our industry. Our focus is to simplify and teach. We believe democratizing programmatic technology is critical to architecting its future.

And as we turn our attention to 2024, we’re excited to apply the same level of standards work and focus to the industry’s next challenge—the last remaining days of the third-party cookie in Chrome. Our engineering, architecture, and product teams have been fast at work building the underlying foundation for supporting the Privacy Sandbox, and we’re excited to unveil our preliminary educational content in this arena in the coming weeks to disambiguate this gargantuan shift and opportunity for the open web.

I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of our ecosystem. Not only is there a push toward building trust and efficiency, but there’s also a collective effort to create a more sustainable and inclusive ecosystem, the benefits of which will extend far beyond our industry.

We’ve continued to invest in both of these areas, accelerating our sustainability efforts by partnering with Ad Net Zero and factoring sustainability into every business decision we make, and partnering with BRIDGE to improve DE&I initiatives across our workplace and the broader industry. This is important work, and we’re committed to driving real change.

This year marked the beginning of a new era in programmatic that rewards efficiency and genuine value generation, something that excites us greatly.

From all of us at Index Exchange, thank you for your ongoing support. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.

Andrew Casale
President and CEO

To help you shape your 2024 plans, our team is sharing our top trends and predictions for the upcoming year. Check them out here.

Andrew Casale

Andrew Casale

President and CEO

As president and CEO of Index Exchange, Andrew is responsible for providing strategic direction and market vision to the company and leading the brightest minds in advertising technology across North America, Europe, and APAC. With a sharp focus on delivering benefits to the world’s leading media owners and buyers as they tackle the world of automation, he’s built Index Exchange as one of the most efficient and transparent ad exchanges in the advertising ecosystem. A respected industry thought leader, Andrew is a sought-after source for his expertise and opinions on programmatic and the media industry at large, as well as the imperative need to transact with transparency.

Back to blog