Everyone has been waiting for media agencies to enter the time of becoming obsolete for more than a decade now. Maybe the time has come, as the need for a middle man dwindels away with less and less partners that provide supply for advertisers' demand - and there's little more than a "triopoly" left when you think of global digital advertising.
This article shows how Philips - in my eyes correctly - came to the conclusion that since every feature the big platforms offer is available to anyone, any competitive edge in digital advertising has to come from in-house capabilities. And these mainly lie in real time analytics, the ability to identify and boost well-working pieces of advertising and optimize spending - allocate budgets where performance is best. You wouldn't want this knowledge (software, data) to be outside the company with a supplier - and there's little reason why they (media agencies) should be better at providing this than the advertisers themselves. Their advantage of having x clients and therefore a bigger data base to draw conclusions from is a) de-valued because of course they'll share that knowledge with all their clients, b) is less relevant if the advertiser in question is has a big enough media budget to rely solely on their own data and c) they haven't really built tech capabilities in the past that are so advanced, an advertiser couldn't get there.
Article from Digiday: