mrge Releases New Industry Report That Sees Concrete Growth Opportunities Through AI

mrge, the intelligent platform for Commerce Advertising, presents the fifth edition of the industry report “State of Commerce Advertising.” This report captures the industry’s sentiment and identifies top themes to provide actionable recommendations for the future. The results of the second edition for 2024 are now available. Two topics stand out for the surveyed publishers, advertisers, and networks: AI as a growth driver and the anticipated Google updates, which will pose challenges for the industry. This edition features guest questions from Valeria Alesiani (Rakuten), Anke Arens (CJ), André Koegler (, and Sol Wilkinson (Hello Partner).

Commerce Advertising has established itself in the industry and remains an important revenue source: 88.9% of respondents report that Commerce Advertising accounts for at least 10% of their total revenue, and for 75%, it accounts for at least 15%. Additionally, 44.4% of respondents state that the relevance of Commerce Advertising is increasing compared to other digital advertising forms, while for 51.4%, it remains unchanged.

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In the top three industry trends, Google updates are ranked first by 72.1% of respondents, followed by AI/machine learning at 46.5%, and brand safety at 23.3%. When asked about the impact they expect from upcoming Google updates, many respondents anticipate a “big change.” They believe that fundamental conditions—ranging from traffic to stricter data protection rules and user privacy handling—will change.

The implementation of generative AI is seen as the second-greatest opportunity for revenue growth in the next six months (by 32.6% of the respondents), only surpassed by increased investment in partnerships (41.9%). The industry index shows that respondents view AI as a growth driver in nearly all areas of Commerce Advertising:

  • 30.5% of respondents see “advanced targeting and personalization,” particularly through audience segmentation or SEA optimization via AI, as particularly promising for growth.
  • 27.8% name the creation of monetizable content as a strong growth area.
  • 25.0% consider customized content with personalized product recommendations to be particularly future-proof.

Felix Witte, General Manager/SVP Publishers & Advertisers of mrge, comments: “AI is the multifunctional tool that, according to our respondents, will provide impetus and growth potential in nearly all areas of Commerce Advertising. There are great opportunities here. However, there are also challenges in the industry with Google updates. The expected changes will alter the conditions under which many market participants have operated so far. Nonetheless, our industry is incredibly adaptable and can respond swiftly to changes: More than 75% of respondents rate the outlook for the second half of 2024 optimistically. This is a record high compared to all industry surveys we have conducted in the past two years.”

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Selected results at a glance:

  • Optimistic outlook for the second half of 2024: An overwhelming majority (76.4%) of respondents are optimistic or very optimistic about their own expected economic development in the second half of 2024.
  • Transparency is highly relevant: Guest author Anke Arens from CJ asked about the importance of transparency for Commerce Advertising. Response: For an overwhelming majority of respondents (94.4%), transparency is at least important, and for 50%, it is even extremely important.
  • Commerce Advertising has opportunities at all levels of the sales funnel: André Koegler from inquired about the possibilities of achieving growth in Commerce Advertising in the early stages of the sales funnel. Respondents see opportunities in strategic partnerships, social media, and the creation of valuable content.
  • Google with high priority in strategies for 2025: Sol Wilkinson from Hello Partner asked about the significance of Google for future strategy in light of Google updates and their impact on affiliate marketing. For 61.1% of respondents, the priority remains at today’s level, for 25% it will increase, and for 13.9%, Google will play a less strategic role.

For the industry survey “State of Commerce Advertising,” 72 experts from around the world were surveyed between June 6 and 18, 2024. Participants included publishers, advertisers, networks, agencies, and technology providers.

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