RTB Spend In EU Up 15% QoQ, Mobile Up 433% YoY

One out of every four marketers in Europe may have never heard of “programmatic,” but that hasn’t stopped growth.

According to Adform’s Q1 2014 RTB Trend Report, Europe, marketers spent 15% more on programmatic ads in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013. Additionally, European marketers spent more on programmatic ads in March 2014 than ever before.

The 15% increase in spend quarter-over-quarter is not monumental, but it is significant because spend levels traditionally dip in Q1 following the holiday season.

In the past 12 months, programmatic ad spend has increased by 291% in Europe, with every country increasing spend by at least 120% in the past 12 months, per Adform. Finland sticks out, as it spent nearly 700% more on programmatic in Q1 2014 than it did in Q1 2013.

Across Europe, click-through rates were 4% higher in Q1 compared to Q4, and 25% higher than one year ago. However, engagement rates were down 17%.

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Mobile programmatic spend is up 433% year-over-year, though the amount of inventory available for RTB in Q1 was down slightly compared to Q4 2013, which Adform attributes to seasonality (post-holiday.) The report notes than over half of all mobile ad units are now for tablets, which it calls a “new development.”

Adform emphasizes Rich Media ad units throughout the report, and predicts that Rich Media -- along with mobile and video -- will drive further spending growth in 2014.

“We anticipate programmatic ad spending to grow throughout 2014, with a heavy emphasis on Rich Media and mobile campaigns,” stated Martin Stockfleth Larsen, chief marketing officer, Adform.

Larsen added: "I am surprised [at] how fast brands and agencies have found budgets for programmatic Rich Media. We see a big commitment almost all across Europe."

This is in line with a recent report from Nexage, which says that Rich Media, interstitials and video ad units will account for over 50% of all mobile ad inventory available for programmatic buying by next year.

When bought via programmatic, the report says CPMs for Rich Media units are 103% higher than standard banners. Similarly, Adform notes that the click-through rate for Rich Media units are 110% higher than standard banners.

The full report can be found here.

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