Programmatic advertising has woven its way into every channel in marketing, including the most traditional: television.
According to a new study from AOL, 76% of advertisers buy display via programmatic, while 56% buy mobile inventory this way; 48% use programmatic for video ads; 24% for social; 32% for search; and 13% for television. Just 8% say they aren’t using programmatic in any channel.
From the agency perspective, 86% are buying display via programmatic, 60% for mobile and video, 34% for social, 24% for search, 7% for television and just 9% aren’t using it at all.
In other words, over 90% of buyers are now using programmatic in some capacity.
The data comes from new survey results from AOL Platforms. AOL Platforms surveyed senior executives at 25 major U.S. brands, 96 agencies and 56 publishers over a one-month period spanning May and June 2014.
Although it is already prevalent in all digital media channels, agency and brand respondents said advertisers will increase the use of programmatic buying over the next six months. The expected growth is nothing to scoff at: Respondents said advertisers will increase the use of programmatic in display by 58% over the next six months -- by 53% in mobile, 54% in video, 18% in social, 12% in TV and 10% in search.
AOL notes: “87% of brands and agencies plan to increase spend in Display and Video up to 50% in the next year.”
“What started as a way to automate real-time bidding on remnant inventory has evolved into a force for innovation across numerous areas of the advertising landscape, including the trading of premium display and videos buys,” Allie Kline, chief marketing officer of AOL Platforms, told Real-Time Daily. “Programmatic is moving out of the minor leagues.”
Ad technology is not without its faults, however, and brands, agencies and publishers all agree that inventory quality is a serious concern. It has been a known and documented issue for months now, and still progress has been slow, if not absent.
“Inventory quality” is one of the top two challenges that brands, agencies and publishers all face with programmatic -- with agencies and publishers citing is as their biggest hurdle. For brands, the number one issue is transparency, followed by inventory quality and technology complexity. Transparency and technology complexity are the second and third biggest challenges for agencies.
Publishers, on the other hand, don’t cite transparency as an issue -- instead noting that education and measurement are their second and third biggest challenges, respectively.
While the “technology complexity” is a major problem, according to the survey, advertisers aren’t doing themselves many favors. AOL’s survey says that 73% of buyers are working with up to 20 different vendors.
“This shows that while consolidation may be happening at a corporate level, the effects of it have not yet trickled down to the transactional level, requiring numerous partners throughout the process,” AOL theorizes.
The complexity can perhaps be blamed for another complaint buyers and sellers share: Nearly 60% of all respondents say digital media buying and selling is still too time consuming.