Advertising has been foundational to the economics of the free World Wide Web for 20 years. But whether it was page-load delays back in the dial-up days or the glacial mobile web experiences of today, consumers have consistently expressed annoyance with advertisements that, ostensibly, get in way of the content they seek—proved by the fact that a day after the release of iOS 9 (which enabled ad blocking), an array of ad-blocking apps climbed into the top-download charts. When all members of the ecosystem—advertisers, publishers, and particularly consumers—seem to be incentivized to optimize user experience, why have things not improved? Tony Ralph explains why the increasing prevalence of ad blocking and the related debate that has ensued could be the key to inciting progress.
Tony Ralph has over 13 years of experience driving digital advertising solutions in roles spanning engineering, operations, product management, and customer service. Ultimately, these experiences led to a product philosophy that blurs the lines between these roles and focuses on the only outcome that really matters: delighting customers. In his current role of director of ad technology at Netflix, Tony sits between the marketing and core engineering teams leading global technology decisions and engineering solutions. Prior to working on the advertiser side of the business, he held various roles working on ad-serving systems at Yahoo and Google. Tony has an eclectic background that includes climbing some of the highest mountains in the world, odd jobs ranging from a gardener at a Carmelite monastery to filling tanker trucks at an oil refinery, and a stint as a search and rescue worker on the coldest mountain in the world, Denali in Alaska. He still plays golf competitively and tries to keep up with the rest of his hockey team on the ice rink.
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