IDC's Karsten Wiede says publishers have good reason to fear the rise of RTB. He suggests publishers are in for a major disruption when brand advertising—premium inventory—is traded via RTB on a large scale as “indirect” or unsold inventory is now. He thinks that day is coming because of improvements in closing the feedback loop between campaigns and conversions as well as advances in digital attribution to perfect the media modeling mix for a given campaign. Once agencies master that process, there won’t be anymore need for direct sales forces at Yahoo, AOL and other publishers.
Wiede also expects RTB to play a bigger role in mobile and video in the next 18 months. It hasn’t grown faster in either segment so far because of a lack of sufficient supply and demand, and latency issues. RTB has to be fast—30 milliseconds fast per impression—to be effective, he says. Different platforms on the mobile side only add to the latency problem. But once these technical issues are ironed out Wiede expects RTB to take off in mobile and video.