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Top Resources to Learn About the Ad-Tech Landscape

Quick, what is DCO? What’s the difference between AI and ML? What’s the deal with deal ID? And SDQ? All right, that last one isn’t real. But it serves the point: there’s a lot to keep track of in ad tech. Even to industry professionals the jargon can seem bewildering.

But don’t despair, intrepid reader!

We’ve gathered some of the best resources to demystify the intricate landscape of the ad-tech industry.

Xandr Industry Reference

For professionals, the Xandr Industry Reference is an invaluable resource bridging the gap between industry insiders and everyone else. This wiki functions like a translation guide for professionals, providing clear, concise coverage of the fundamentals of ad tech. It also offers those new to the industry an opportunity to obtain a firm grip on the basics and is easily searchable for those still on the learning curve.

Keep this resource handy for the next time you need to succinctly explain a specialized ad-tech term to the uninitiated.


In an industry that’s constantly innovating, the best way to continue learning is to stay informed. AdExchanger is one of the top sites to follow if you want to stay up-to-date with current trends and the goings-on in the advertising industry.

But AdExchanger offers more than just news coverage. They have an expansive event resources section that covers selected sessions from their recent events and a series of email newsletters for every digital marketing niche (we particularly like their "Data-Driven Thinking" and The "Sell Sider" Publisher Newsletters). Additionally, AdExchanger produces two podcasts: The Big Story, a weekly roundtable discussion on the week's top news stories; and AdExchanger Talks, a series of weekly interviews with industry leaders.

For the socially inclined, AdExchanger maintains a Twitter directory of industry insiders, allowing you to take part in the ongoing ad tech conversation when you’re on-the-go (or bored after lunch).


Digiday provides news coverage and content relevant to the media and marketing industries with candor and wit. Their WTF series provides excellent coverage of a variety of complex topics facing the industry, and the corresponding subseries, such as WTF Programmatic, offer in-depth explanations aimed at clarifying industry argot for both newbies and professionals.

But wait, there’s more! Digiday also produces two podcasts: the Digiday Podcast, a weekly show where they discuss the big stories and issues around the transition to the digital age; and Making Marketing, where marketing leaders are asked about the big ideas that inform their business decisions today.


AdAge is another great site for news and industry updates. But beyond their excellent journalism, they also provide a number of resources for insiders to stay informed.

An extensive resource section featuring well-designed white papers, webcasts, and research reports? Check.

A podcast featuring interviews with the biggest names in media and marketing? Yep, they’ve got that.

A super cute video series explaining complex ad tech concepts in ways so simple an eight-year-old could get it? Yeah, they even have that.

Keep AdAge in mind as a resource that’s both educational and entertaining.


IAB is a well-known trade association that guides the online advertising industry with standards and best practices. It’s probably not shocking to learn that the largest driver of research in the digital marketing industry has a vast amount of educational material available for public consumption.

Take a look at their research page for just that, plus white papers and case studies. Their learning section features news, educational articles, certifications, and comprehensive webinars.

Ad Ops Insider Blog

The Ad Ops Insider blog is, unsurprisingly, written by an ad ops insider. Ben Kneen has been working on the publisher side of the ad ops industry since 2006 and created his blog specifically to educate budding professionals.

From Ad Ops 101 to more advanced topics such as header bidding and ads.txt, Ad Ops Insider provides clear, comprehensive guides to the latest industry innovations. Check out Ad Ops Insider for great content written by a professional with professionals in mind.

reddit & Quora

Still not finding the info you need? Have a very specific question you want answered by an industry professional? When all else fails, crowdsource it.

The r/AdOps subreddit is a place for ad ops professionals to share their knowledge and experience.

Quora topic pages are another great way to link up with industry professionals. Search through previously asked questions or pose your own. Here are some relevant topic pages to get you started:

Ad Operations
Ad Network and Ad Serving Technology
Supply Side Platform (SSP) and Demand Side Platform (DSP)

Video Series

Need an excuse to have YouTube open on your work computer (just kidding, time theft is serious business)? Check out these videos for informative content presented in a fun, visually appealing way.

LiveIntent videos are entertaining and well-produced looks at ad-tech topics combining good
info with wink-y pop culture references. Plus they’re short, so they’re great to binge-watch.

Jellyfish Agency’s Digital Marketing Insights offers a series of engaging videos offering a look into the strategies and technologies they’ve utilized to become a top digital marketing agency.

Digital Marketing Institute’s Google Hangout Series is another engaging conversational series focused mostly on providing educational webinars.

Both this series and the Digital Marketing Insights series highlighted above speak mainly to issues topical to buy-side professionals, but publishers can also benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the world of digital advertising.


Need to take a break from your screen but still desperate for ad-tech info? Give your eyes a rest and take in some of these aural offerings.

NYC Media Lab Podcast facilitates conversations between university students and industry professionals that address issues facing digital media from across a range of perspectives.

Programmatic Untangled is a podcast that provides an extremely in-depth look at how programmatic works and why it has become one of the hottest topics in ad tech.

What Happens in Adops, the eponymous podcast of the popular blog, delves deep into the tech part of ad tech to educate and entertain with wry humor.

There’s a multitude of great blogs, websites, and other informative content available on the internet. Are there any other great resources we missed? Share your favorites!