Friday Fives: Arthur Shikhman, our VP of Platforms on GDPR, Data, and 33Across Changes

With new regulations including GDPR, the ability to forecast how these changes will affect certain industries is crucial. Our VP of Platforms, Arthur Shikhman has some predictions on what we can expect. Having been at 33Across for a number of years, he has seen a lot of innovation and change within the company and industry overall. Check out Arthur’s take on all things ad tech, and also his surprising favorite drink choice for this edition of Friday Fives.

With new regulations and standards including GDPR, Ads.txt, and Better Ads Coalition; what types of changes can we expect this year from ad tech?

Most of these recent standards and regulations are meant to protect – user data is protected by GDPR, publisher integrity and buyer transparency are protected by Ads.txt, and user experience is protected by the Better Ads Coalition standards. Expect this trend to continue, with more initiatives that intend to force the ad tech sector to ‘grow up’. In the short term, these regulations may lead to a greater concentration of wealth at the top (yes, even more than now), followed by longer-term antitrust regulations aimed at spreading that wealth. Compliance will also likely lead to increased collaboration and creativity across the ecosystem.

To make ad tech more profitable, what types of product(s) do you see being developed within the near future?

Products that can provide utility outside of standard monetization have the most potential upside. From my standpoint: video verification has a long way to go, data transmission is deliberately opaque, conversion attribution is too one-sided, and server-to-server solutions can be difficult to trust. Whoever finds answers to these problems, especially in ways that can be licensed for enterprise use, will see profits come their way.

Since your start at 33Across, what have you seen change the most within the company?

The level of diversity. It’s been rewarding to work with more people that come from different backgrounds, with different ideas and outlooks on life. It’s led to a more accepting environment internally, and a more generous environment externally, with a number of charitable efforts aimed at improving communities outside the office.

How do you think data will be used in the future to generate revenue for advertisers. publishers, and tech providers?

First, it shouldn’t be used at all without some transparency. I think we’re at a breaking point for non-transparent data use, all of which is driven by partners that don’t create that data. Remember that without the user, this data doesn’t exist. Expect the industry to come to terms with this fact, bringing users into the closed loop that’s notoriously kept them out for so long. Some companies are already starting to make this shift, but I don’t believe anyone has the most effective solution just yet. Products that place users first will naturally generate new revenue streams for the advertisers, publishers, and tech providers that interact with those users.

What’s your favorite type of drink and why?

Tough choice between milk (I know, controversial) and wine. Both go with almost anything (not with each other), are refreshing at certain times of the day, and are good for you (probably not true). I guess milk, since the hangover isn’t nearly as bad.