The fastest-growing segment of media-buying isn’t a medium, but a way of buying media: programmatic. That’s what the latest tracking study from Interpublic's Mediabrands’ Magna Global unit suggests in an update to its “Programmatic Forecast,” which projects it will expand at an annual rate of 27% over the next four years, reaching $53 billion of global ad spending in 2018.
For the purposes of its analysis, Magna defines programmatic as media buys “that are based on automated platforms and that are driven by consumer data.” It includes both open market and auction-based RTB (real-time bidding), as well as private exchanges between media buyers and sellers.
Currently, Magna estimates that non-RTB trading is a slightly larger part of the programmatic mix, accounting for 24% of all digital media buys vs. 22% for RTB-based trading, and 54% for traditional, non-programmatic media buys. By 2018, Magna predicts RTB will be the dominant source of media-buying, accounting for a 39% share of all buys versus 28% for non-RTB and 33% for traditional media-buying.
Those are the global figures, but the Magna report notes that the U.S. programmatic marketplace continues to expand faster than the rest of the world’s. The U.S. currently represents more than half (53%) of the global programmatic media-buying marketplace.
Currently, Magna estimates that programmatic represents nearly two-thirds (62%) of the digital display advertising marketplace (online, social and mobile) and will grow to 82% by 2018.“By 2018, only the most premium digital inventory (sponsorship, full episode video, non-standard formats) will still be transacted through traditional mechanisms,” the Magna report predicts, noting: “In the last 18 months, adoption has been boosted by increased usage by large verticals (such as consumer packaged goods, automotive and pharmaceuticals) and direct-response verticals (such as real estate, dating, gaming, and education). That large vertical usage was made possible by the availability of new tools allowing marketers to measure and benchmark the impact and efficiency of programmatic campaigns on branding goals (and not just immediate conversion).”