There is no shortage of horror, in digital media circles, that it is big platforms which are gobbling the lion’s share of ad spending.

The latest Zenith figures estimate Google and Facebook took 96% of spending outside of China last year.

But one of the world’s biggest media-buying agencies says there are bigger problems than the duopoly.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Essence North America investment SVP Adam Gerber points the finger elsewhere.

“We all have mutual interest around the advertising model, so I’m not so sure that there needs to be as much tension … around the ‘platforms-versus-the-publishers’,” he says.

“I think there are other folks who we really should be looking at as the problem. There are companies that are trying to disintermediate and get in the way of value creation that services the end constituents.

“To me, we need to eliminate as much of the middle as possible so that the beneficiaries of a more efficient marketplace and a data driven marketplace are the advertisers and the media sellers.”

Gerber was referring to a maze of tech platforms that now sit between buyers and sellers.

His company was founded a decade ago by a number of marketers in the banking industry. Over time, they were able to win project work from Google and ultimately over the last decade have become Google’s global digital agency. Now Essence has grown to add NBCUniversal and Target as clients, and was acquired by GroupM in 2015.

Gerber also warns that the growth of subscription VOD services like Netflix, which run without advertising, reduces marketers’ potential reach.

“The other thing that no one talks about is the behavior changes that a number of new platforms are driving amongst key segments of our population, to be conditioned to watching content and consuming video without ads,” he says.

“The more that that happens, the more that we allow that behavior change to evolve, the less opportunities marketers are going to have to reach their consumers in ad-supported environments, the more challenge publishers are going to be in terms of their business models and the more difficult it’s going to be for agencies and marketers to effectively plan and build marketing solutions that drive their product sales.”

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat Miami, 2017 presented by Videology along with Alphonso and 605. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.