The Display LUMAscape & IAB Digital Advertising ArenaFor years, LUMA Partners' CEO Terence Kawaja provided the only reliable map to navigate the intricate value chain of the display digital advertising business. The Display LUMAscape provides an easy-to-read, if a little cluttered, expose of the ad technology ecosystem, with the buy side on the left and the sell side on the right. Prominent players in the ad tech marketplace are clustered together, with notations for companies that have been either acquired or closed.

The IAB has recently unveiled a chart which looks at the same arrangement from a different point of view. Instead of focusing on specific companies and platforms (in fact, it does not list them at all), the Digital Advertising Arena instead concentrates on the relationship between the layers of suppliers and consumers of data, services, and platforms, much like the layers of an onion. At the center is the brand, with each type of value contribution represented as a colored layer.

Considering the differences in both the format and content of each graphic, it's best to consider these two charts as complements to each other rather than rivals. Let's have a more detailed look at both.

Display LUMAscape

  • stresses companies and the flow of value-added services from buy to sell
  • reads from left to right
  • highlights most prominent companies in each category

IAB Digital Advertising Arena

  • focuses on relationship between categories of value-added services
  • reads from center outward (or outermost layer inward)
  • highlights how each category delivers value to the next