Last week on Research: second screens and big data meets advertising

What a week — between Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone event, Twitter’s IPO buzz, and our last-minute preparation for Structure:Europe, there’s been no shortage of news and exciting developments over the past few days. While we’re digesting some of the latest iPhone 5s and 5c features, our analysts are already looking ahead at the consumer gadgets and marketing space: the week’s most popular research content includes reports on the future of second screen devices, and how big data techniques are transforming the online ad space.

Note: GigaOM Research, previously known as GigaOM Pro, is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit to learn more about it.

Cloud: Is higher education serving cloud computing?
David Linthicum

In his latest blog post, analyst David Linthicum looks at the relationship between higher education and industry. Historically, institutions of higher education (and specifically, their computer science and engineering schools) have followed industry trends, relying on graduates to receive real-world training to supplement their coursework. But as the cycle of innovation accelerates, more companies expect and need their new hires to hit the ground running. Linthicum issues a call to action to universities — including his own alma mater — to embrace these emerging technology trends, especially around cloud computing. He calls on higher education to work in parallel with industry to ensure that graduates leave campus with a solid background important concepts, such as cloud computing, and asks academia to offer cloud courses (and other emerging topics) as a central component of the curricula, as opposed to a specialty elective or niche offering.

Connected Consumer: The revolution will be targeted: RTB and the future of programmatic advertising
Aram Sinnreich

In his latest report, analyst Aram Sinnreich looks at the role of real-time bidding (RTB), one of the most transformative new paradigms in the online marketing sector. Sinnreich compares the influence of RTB to that of big data, as “RTB replaces the traditional relationship between online advertisers and publishers with an algorithmic system tailored to find the sweet spot between supply and demand, allowing both parties to optimize their assets and increase efficiency.” His report, based on interviews with senior digital marketing executives and industry analysis, provides a contextual overview of the online marketing landscape, the current RTB ecosystem, and potential market disruptors and technologies that could ultimately determine the future of the RTB landscape.

Social: How to take advantage of the second screen
Jose Alevar

Analyst Jose Alvear analyzes the rise of multitasking, noting that nearly 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners use another device while watching TV. Although “business models for second-screen programming still in its infancy,” Alevar notes that there is ample opportunity for advertisers, content owners, and TV operators to capitalize on the rise of the second screen, citing notable examples like the Twitter activity and other social networking traffic that resulted during the most recent Superbowl. While most second screen activities are unrelated to the television programming being consumed, Alevar declares that there is a great untapped potential here, and outlines the current second screen landscape and existing business models to identify the greatest areas of opportunity for this emerging market.