The UK is a world-leading proponent of programmatic ad trading. Growth in automation will continue, but for such a developed market, an inevitable ceiling is being reached.
How big is the programmatic ad market in the UK?
Programmatic is the rule rather than the exception in the UK, and has been for some time. Nine in 10 digital display ad pounds will be spent programmatically this year, and that proportion will continue to increase throughout our forecast. Growth is slowing, though, and some inventory will always be traded traditionally.
Which transaction method will dominate?
Brands and publishers increasingly favor safety and control in the automated advertising space, particularly in the aftermath of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Private marketplaces (PMPs) and programmatic direct deals have thus grown faster than open market trading. However, programmatic direct continues to take the lion’s share of the overall market—65.5% this year, growing to 68.6% by 2021. Social media ad spend has underpinned this growth, given that it’s almost exclusively traded via direct means.
How have mobile and video trends impacted the programmatic market?
Mobile dominates the programmatic space, accounting for 80.6% of total spend. And given social media’s increasing influence in mobile, it’s little surprise to see programmatic direct make up 71.7% of total mobile programmatic display ad spending. Video is the other big growth driver, as more and more inventory trading is now automated.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report presents our updated forecast for UK programmatic digital display ad spending through 2021. It provides context for how the programmatic market is growing across transaction types, formats and devices.
KEY STAT: This year, 90.0% of digital display ad spending will be transacted programmatically, with spend totaling £5.81 billion ($7.74 billion).
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