Commentary

Programmatic Buyers Worry About Inventory Quality And Transparency

Programmatic spending estimates vary depending on the source. One of the most reliable sources of data on programmatic ad spending and trends, overall, is eMarketer. (Disclosure: RTBlog's author previously worked at eMarketer.) The digital research firm reports in an article that programmatic is expected to comprise 73.0% of all U.S. display ad spending. The projection didn’t mention spending for programmatic mobile or video.

However, while marketers are diving into programmatic on the display side and are increasing budgets accordingly, they remain concerned about inventory quality and the transparency of inventory sources. According to research by Strata in August,  more than half of U.S. ad agency professionals reported their concerns about these issues. In fact, Strata found that about 60% of ad agency professionals reported concerns about inventory quality when they made programmatic ad buys.

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Strata’s August survey found that 52.7% of those polled called out transparency as a concern. Still, eMarketer projects programmatic display ad spending to reach $25.3 billion in 2016 overall in the U.S.

One way to handle issues of inventory quality and transparency is to turn to private marketplace deals or automated guaranteed deals, instead of placing bets in the open auction.

EMarketer projects that in 2016, 53.0% of programmatic display ads will be transacted directly, an increase from 48.0% in 2014. By 2018, that share is project to increase slightly to 56.0%.

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