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Mobile Fueling Higher-than-Expected Growth of Programmatic Ads

By next year, 75% of all programmatic display ads will be mobile

September 26, 2016 | Media Buying

Programmatic ad spending in the US is exceeding projections, and will continue to grow at double-digit rates for the next several years. This year, programmatic display ad spending will reach $25.23 billion, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast, several billion more than previously projected. Programmatic this year will represent 73.0% of all display ad spending in the US.

US Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending, 2014-2018 (billions, % change and % of total digital display ad spending*)

Facebook will capture the largest share of US programmatic display dollars through 2018, taking in $11.10 billion in programmatic revenues, or 43.7% of the total. Google will remain a distant second, capturing $2.39 billion, or a 9.4% share.

“Programmatic buying is becoming more popular as marketers increasingly take an audience-centric approach to their display ad buys,” said eMarketer senior analyst Lauren Fisher. “Publishers are becoming more comfortable with programmatic technology, and therefore more willing and able to package audiences in this manner. That has accelerated spending in mobile and other formats that have traditionally shied away from programmatic, such as video.”

Mobile will continue to be a key driver of programmatic’s growth through 2018. This year, mobile programmatic ad spending will grow 65.7% to $17.70, far exceeding desktop spending levels, which it overtook last year. Desktop programmatic advertising is still growing, but at a decreasing rate. By next year, mobile will account for about three-quarters of all programmatic ad spending, while desktop will account for just one-quarter.

US Programmatic Digital Display* and Video** Ad Spending Share, by Device, 2016 (% of total)

Video is also fueling programmatic advertising’s growth. Spending will more than double this year to $6.18 billion, amounting to 60.0% of all digital video ad spending. Improved targeting and measurement, as well as cleanup of issues such as fraud and viewability, are drawing more advertisers into programmatic video.

“As technology makes it easier and safer for brand advertisers to pursue their TV audiences into digital video, programmatic will emerge as the smartest, most precise method of doing so,” said Fisher.

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