Shares of many publicly traded ad-tech companies are plumetting and, according to The Wall Street Journal, some analysts are still chalking up the poor performance to "confusion.".
Publicly traded ad-tech companies fell 6.6% below the S&P 500 in the last six months, according to the Journal.
Why are these once heavily invested stocks falling so hard?
For one thing, investors are confused as to what these companies actually do. Tech executives who spoke with Ad Age earlier this year said some companies who present themselves as ad-tech firms are really dressed-up as ad networks, meaning they own ad space and sell it via phone calls rather than facilitating sales through technology.
"Investors are having a tough time understanding what an ad-technology company is," Tim Vanderhook, CEO of ad-tech company Viant, told Ad Age in February. "Until they figure out what that is and the valuations settle down, then I think everyone is pausing on where they're going."
Other factors may also include Google's stranglehold in the digital advertising world and Facebook's meteoric rise attracting ad dollars, according to The Journal.
Facebook, for example, will reach about $6.8 billion from U.S. digital display ads in 2015, about one-quarter of the total market, according to eMarketer. Twitter, meanwhile, will take a 5% share and reach revenue of about $1.34 billion. Those numbers are only expected to further grow by 2017.