When AT&T acquired AppNexus last year, it was the latest chapter in the emerging narrative of the rise of the super publisher. By way of definition, super publishers are scaled, vertically integrated companies like AT&T, Amazon and the Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), who have shaken up the digital ad landscape, in some cases through a series of acquisitions over the past half-decade. The common thread is that all have ticked off the major capabilities’ boxes: content creation and ownership, scaled user ID and data and proprietary technology.
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