Programmatic and real-time bidding are completely eating the digital-ad industry, with mobile leading growth
The embrace of programmatic ad-buying tools is fueling a dramatic uptick in the share of digital ads sold through programmatic platforms, particularly those focused on real-time bidding or RTB.
Total US programmatic ad revenue will top nearly $15 billion this year, according to BI Intelligence estimates. RTB, particularly mobile and video RTB, are spearheading growth.
In this all-new in-depth research from BI Intelligence that updates our popular July 2014 report on programmatic, we find that the US digital-ad market will reach a programmatic "tipping-point": For the first time this year, programmatic transactions will be a majority (52%) of non-search digital-ad spend. We estimate 30.6% of total digital-ad spend will go to programmatic real-time bidding (RTB) platforms, and 21.7% will go to non-RTB programmatic.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Advertisers and publishers are rapidly adopting programmatic ad-buying and selling tools. More than four-fifths of agencies and brands already purchase display ads programmatically, while an even greater proportion of publishers are pursuing programmatic channels as part of their sales strategies, according to surveys and our own conversations with industry participants.
- Spending on programmatic advertising is growing quickly, at ~20% annually.
- Real-time bidding is growing even faster than programmatic overall, at a five-year CAGR of 24%. RTB revenue will top over $26 billion by year-end 2020, up from $8.7 billion this year. Mobile RTB and video RTB are growing even faster, at roughly 2X the rate of programmatic overall. (The report has the full growth breakdowns.)
- Media-agency programmatic "trading desks" are being decentralized as programmatic expertise begins to permeate the agency and brand ecosystem. This may speed growth in programmatic spending among agency clients.
- The ballyhooed fusion of native and programmatic advertising may be one step closer, thanks in part to OpenRTB 2.3, a new specification from the IAB that makes automated trading of native advertisements technically feasible. Such efforts could bring scale to native advertising and help unlock brand spend.
- Pricing is following two divergent trends: for premium- and guaranteed placements they are on the upswing, while prices continue to plummet for miscellaneous inventory.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts programmatic and RTB spending by format through 2020.
- Looks at the latest programmatic adoption trends among both publishers and advertisers.
- Explores the emerging trend of "decentralizing" agency-trading desks and native programmatic.
- Outlines the latest news and trends affecting top programmatic-focused companies.
- Analyzes how programmatic and programmatic-premium is impacting digital ad prices.
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