As autumn comes to an end and we prepare for 2013, it’s a good time to evaluate the real-time bidding (RTB) industry, and make predictions for the year to come. Programmatic buying is undergoing a massive expansion and as the year ends we find ourselves at the crux of major shifts in the industry, new players entering and older players consolidating.
Here are my top-10 predictions for the coming year:
1. Programmatic continues to grow in the U.S., but we will also see explosive growth in international markets such as Asia and Latin America.
2. The average CPM will continue to rise to Forrester’s CPM prediction of $6.64 by 2017.
3. Quality will be a strong focus. From viewability, brand safety to fraud identification, separating the impression wheat from the chaff will be a recurring theme. The IAB’s viewable ad impression, Google’s Active GRP and a bevy of third-party offerings will gain significant mindshare.
4. An increasing focus on quality spells bad news for the bad actors in the display ecosystems.
5. Facebook will help “improve” the story with brand advertisers and help us move away from CTR as the sole way to measure a display campaign. The upcoming Facebook/Datalogix study will help quantify brand awareness lift.
6. In 2013, Facebook will dominate the conversation. Huge amounts of high-quality inventory will become available, and more and more partners will integrate with the Facebook exchange, in a significant opportunity for advertisers to extend their audience buying strategies to one of the largest Web entities.
7. Increasing amounts of premium inventory will move to private exchanges. Publishers will begin to overcome some of their reluctance to partner with exchanges, although many will remain wary. For advertisers, this means access to more premium inventory more efficiently.
8. Video RTB will go mainstream, with tons of inventory becoming available even as we close out 2012. 2013 will be all about the robust ecosystem of third parties innovating in the video space, as well as strong CPMs that continue to rise.
9. Third-party data will continue to grow as we see more volume and higher-quality data sources making a dizzying array of targeting options available on virtually all platforms. This includes search data, social data, site level data and the ability to layer data on top of data for added insights and advanced targeting.
10. Finally, there will be a growing movement to real-time reporting. Next day will no longer be enough; marketers will demand real-time or near-real-time consoles. This will continue to drive the technology conversation around big data, big data processing and inform strategic media buying decisions.
That’s it, folks. Let’s see how we fare late next year.