EMarketer is forecasting that more than 80 percent of digital display ads will be programmatic — through automated channels — and will reach $46 billion this year. That’s about $10 billion more than what marketers spent in 2017.
“Significant momentum behind programmatic ad buying now focuses on its rich audience targeting capabilities,” said eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher. “Buyers have come to rely on programmatic as the primary way to infuse their ad campaigns with first-, second- or third-party data insights.”
In the report, eMarketer also said it expects that of the nearly $19 billion in additional ad dollars “that will enter the programmatic display space between 2018 and 2020, the majority will go to private setups, such as private marketplaces and programmatic direct transactions, as buyers continue to be wary of the open markets’ transparency and quality issues.”
Fisher said even as the open markets create more transparency and embark on “clean-up” initiatives, “the greatest portion of ad dollars will flow toward safer, more private setups such as programmatic direct deals and PMPs.”
The programmatic purchases includes digital native ads as well as ads on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, researchers at the firm noted. The growth of these ads come as Facebook faces the ongoing Cambridge Analytica debacle where consumer data was harvested without users knowing. In its most recent quarter, Facebook made about $13 billion from ads — mostly programmatic or automated advertising.
EMarketer said it sees mobile programmatic ad spending to reach $32.78 billion, “or 70.4 percent of all programmatic digital display outlays in the U.S. this year.” The firm also said it estimates that over 85 percent of all U.S. native ads dollars will “transact programmatically in 2018, and that portion will only grow throughout the forecast period.”
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