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eMarketer predicts that the programmatic digital display market in Germany will grow by more than 24% this year to reach €798 million ($885.34 million), accounting for 41% of all digital display advertising.
Compared to the UK and France, programmatic advertising in Germany was slow to take off but is now gaining momentum. According to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast of the German programmatic market, it will reach a tipping point next year when more than half (54%) of all digital display ad spending in Germany will be transacted programmatically. By the end of 2018 the programmatic digital display ad market will be worth nearly €1.4 billion ($1.55 billion).
As with many elements within the digital marketing space, programmatic spend in Germany is heavily influenced by mobile. In 2016, eMarketer expects spend on mobile placements to account for 58.8% of all programmatic ad expenditure in Germany, while programmatic spending on desktop-based placements is forecast to shrink in terms of both share and absolute spending levels.
Historically, most advertisers and publishers in Germany began their programmatic trading in open, real-time auctions—but this is expected to dial back slightly. Meanwhile, programmatic direct, pre-negotiated approach that does not involve an auction, is growing in popularity. In 2016 an estimated €342.8 million ($380.3 million)—equivalent to 43% of total programmatic outlays—will be spent on direct trades, up from 41% in 2015. Ads on social networks, such as Facebook which are chiefly programmatic direct buys—will continue to make up the bulk of spending in this category.
“It’s widely acknowledged that publishers, advertisers and agencies in Germany didn’t welcome programmatic ad trading with the same enthusiasm as those in France, the UK or the US,” said eMarketer analyst Karin von Abrams. “There’s a degree of conservatism in Germany’s business culture; decision-makers typically want to be sure something works before they take the plunge. That said, they couldn’t ignore the growing evidence in favor of programmatic, and the momentum of adoption in other markets. Hence the robust growth we’re seeing now, and the gains expected through 2018.
“Mobile is a key driver of programmatic spending in the German market, partly because the enormous rise in mobile penetration and usage among consumers is happening simultaneously with the rise of programmatic trading,” continued von Abrams. “Advertisers really have no choice but to follow their target audiences onto mobile platforms, and most mobile inventory is already traded programmatically in Germany. We anticipate spending on mobile programmatic ads will rocket between now and 2018, and pass €1.1 billion that year.”
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