While exchange-based media buys are still only a fraction of the total media volume processed by big agencies, they are the fastest-growing segment of Madison Avenue’s media economy, and the
most recent data suggests they are beginning to impact the advertising budgets allocated to other options -- especially online advertising networks. The shift to hyper-efficient exchange-based buys
may also be contributing to an overall slowdown in the overall expansion of the online display advertising marketplace.
Looking at data compiled from the actual media buys processed by four
of Madison Avenue’s biggest agency holding companies -- Aegis, Havas, Interpublic and Publicis -- Standard Media Index (SMI) found that use of exchanges is soaring, up 58% in July and 38%
through the first seven months of the year vs. the same periods a year ago.
During the same period, spending on online ad networks declined 17% in July and 58% during the first seven
months, suggesting some kind of share shift is occurring in the way agenicies, and/or their trading desks, approach the so-called secondary display advertising marketplace.
that’s what’s happening at a transaction level,” explains SMI’s Kristina Luland, adding: “We are seeing more and more spend in the booking system under the agency DSP, so
we consider that an ad exchange.”
Luland says some of that spending may still be going to ad networks, but indirectly via inventory purchased programmatically through
While still a relatively small share of total spending by the agencies, exchange-based buys now represent 5.3% of total digital ad dollars spent by the four agency holding
companies. That’s been trending upward. The share of digital ad spending bought through exchanges was 4.7% on a year-to-date basis.
The share of digital bought through ad networks has
declined to 3.0% in July and 3.1% year-to-date.
Big Agency Ad Spending: July & 1st 7 Months (Vs. Year Ago)
Jan. - July
Source: Standard Media Index. Base = actual media buys processed by four agency holding companies (Aegis, Havas, Interpublic, Publicis).