Ad-tech is a historically topsy-turvy sector that has experienced several peaks and troughs over its short existence which have contributed to it being somewhat maligned and viewed as unstable, unsustainable and risky.
Lately, however, ad-tech has begun to evolve and show signs of sustained growth. In 2019, M&A in the media and marketing-tech sector (which covers ad-tech) rose more than 35 per cent over 2018.
This recovery stalled somewhat due to COVID-19, with 2020 seeing a 31 per cent year-on-year drop in M&A activity from 2019. Although this relatively steep overall decline was due to dealmaking virtually ceasing in the first half of the year during the onset of the pandemic.
The sector then bounced back in the second half of the year, with growth resuming and being driven by ad-tech’s natural responsiveness to life spent in lockdown. This culminated in Q4 2020 recording a 20 per cent increase in dealmaking compared to Q4 2019.
The strength of ad-tech’s recovery prior to and, eventually, during COVID-19, has led to assessments that it is now a more stable and attractive sector and that this time its return to prominence could be permanent.
Numerous factors affecting the sector also mean that the uptick in dealmaking looks set to continue and perhaps even gather pace during 2021.
What is ad-tech?
Why the historic turmoil?
What’s behind the latest growth?
Will ad-tech’s growth last this time?
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