The end of another quarter is on the horizon, and with it comes updated projections for all kinds of markets and submarkets. Today, eMarketer updated their projections for real-time bidding (RTB) not just for the end of 2013, but through 2017 as well.
The chatter about the space might seem to go in circles sometimes, what with all the acronyms and technical speak, but it's moving forward nonetheless. It's not the hype surrounding programmatic media-buying and RTB that says it's moving forward; it's projections like these.
It just surprises me -- in a good way, mind -- that a space that already has so much hype is now almost routinely undersold.
Halfway through 2013, eMarketer estimated U.S. ad spend on digital display RTB to be $8.51 billion by 2017. Before the close of Q3, it upped the estimate to $8.69 billion. Today it says it will be $9.03 billion. That might not be an astronomical jump in projections, but it's no chump change.
Clark Fredricksen, vice president of eMarketer, told me that despite quarterly forecasts, the research firm doesn't always adjust number upward, or at all, "unless it's clear that many research sources and data sets about a market indicate that it's moving faster than expected."
He added, "That's clearly the case with programmatic and its RTB subset, with multiple research sources showing an uptick."
Sounds reasonable. But the fact remains, to use Fredricksen's words, that "many research sources and data sets" suggest RTB has been "moving faster than expect" quarter after quarter after quarter.
Not every year -- not even every half year -- but every three months this space makes the top research firms say: "Oops. We underestimated it. Again."