‘Programmatic Isn’t Going Anywhere,’ Says eMarketer

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Say what you want about “fake news” and advertiser uproar over real ads appearing on websites that are less than legit: Programmatic buying is here to stay.


That’s the key finding from eMarketer‘s latest digital advertising forecast, which estimates that close to four of every five U.S. digital display dollars will transact programmatically in 2017, totaling $32.56 billion.

By the end of the forecast period, that share will rise to 84% — “leaving little doubt that buyers and sellers are continuing to invest in automated ad buying,” eMarketer says.

For ad buyeremarketers and sellers, eMarketer adds, it is the “desire and need for greater control” that are moving them toward more private setups.

At present, some 74.5% ($24.25 billion) of domestic digital display ad dollars transacted programmatically will go to private marketplaces and programmatic direct setups.

“In fact, the share of programmatic purchases made via open exchanges is declining, while the share transacted via programmatic direct is growing,” eMarketer notes. In 2017 programmatic direct will represent 56% of programmatic display spending, while 44% will be purchased via real-time bidding (RTB).

“Private setups give buyers and sellers greater control over their automated buys,” said eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher. “They may have initially served to bring in reticent buyers and sellers, but now private setups drive much of the change and momentum in the marketplace, as both parties seek greater control from their programmatic efforts.”

Video is one area that has benefited from such advancements and controls.

Last year saw a new trend, as for the first time more than 50% of all domestic digital video ad dollars were traded via automation; that portion will grow another 42.3% this year to $9.13 billion, eMarketer says.

By 2018, nearly 75% of all video ad dollars will transact programmatically.