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How do you bid on digital ads in milliseconds and

make YouTube funnier?

The Answer: Technology, where future work is happening today.”

by MK Ward


There’s a big debate amongst scholars and futurists right now. One view is that the extent of digitalization has become so advanced that there will be huge job losses in the future, some predict as many as 40% of jobs[1] . But others argue this situation is an overstatement and new jobs will emerge, resulting in little overall job loss.


We don’t know which view will be right. But there is no doubt that new technology creates new jobs. Here are two interesting ones.


Imagine an advertising job with a difference. This job pushes the boundaries to use data from users to allow personal and precise advertising. Specifically, by analysing the individual’s via browsing habits, and by using product information from partner client sites, personal advertisements try to entice the user to go back to the site to purchase.


Matt, founder and manager of a digital company, describes an “interesting” further development in which companies engage in real time bidding for ad space on a website. The bidders are the demand-side platforms that are set up by companies who have created a bunch of campaigns. The bidders and campaigns may want to target a particular person who’s visited one of our e-commerce sites. When they come into that eco-system, which can be that the person is on reading a news article, they might be a slot of space next to the article. That is the ad space that’s bid on. The highest offer (e.g. $5) from the bidders wins. The bidding space uses second price option where the highest offer wins but pays the loser’s offer or one cent higher. All of this happens within the time limit of 40ms from when the targeted person arrives to the webpage.























This is a current, local example of the types of jobs emerging in the advertising and media sectors.


A second example of work that you wouldn’t find 10 years ago, is Rajeev’s full-time job of watching YouTube and Facebook videos to find ones that are entertaining, but that “could be funnier” with different commentary.


Yes, you read that correctly… Rajeev works in the entertainment industry. His boss is an entertainer. Ranjeev’s job is to find videos online and then - once he has permission from the video’s owner – to create a different sound-over for a YouTube to increase its comedic value. Sometimes the fans do some of the work for Rajeev, finding cool videos and then sending them to Ranjeev, without payment.


“We get permission by contacting the owner of the video, via databases of new videos that come from YouTube. Then (we) pay a licensing fee to the licensing company. It’s pretty pricey, around $200 per platform or use.”


Revenue– hopefully - flows from the online views of the YouTube. But Ranjeev observes:


“When posting, it can be difficult to keep posts popular. Sometimes what you expect to get lots of likes and comments is not so well received….”


Ranjeev has been doing the job about a year and loves it. He likes that it is low stress. The hours, working remotely with one person (his boss and the only other person in the company), and the autonomy to watch videos when and how he decides, are all important positives for him.


The only technologically-driven changes he foresees for the job are likely to come from the platforms used to collect and release their online content.


Ranjeev doesn’t see much chance his job will be replaced anytime soon. Finding things that are funny might indeed be a rather uniquely human capability.



[1] Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114, 254–280.

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