Earlier this year, American Express set a theoretical goal of shifting 100% of its online ad budget to programmatic, Advertising Age first reported. AmEx set its sights as high as possible to create an “aspiration [more] than a real target.”
Since then, AmEx has become one of the 10 biggest spenders in programmatic.
During Q1 2014, AmEx was not one of the 10 top-spending brands in programmatic. However, in Q2 the financial services firm cracked the top 10 and was the ninth highest-spending brand in programmatic. AmEx continued to climb the charts in Q3, finishing the quarter as the eighth-highest-spending brand -- and top-spending financial brand for the second quarter in a row -- in programmatic, per Casale Media’s latest quarterly report.
The financial industry was collectively the third-largest programmatic spender last quarter, trailing retail and CPG. Financial companies spent 46% as much as retail via programmatic channels in Q3, and CPG brands spend 54% as much as retail.
Casale Media’s report notes that the average clear price was up 2.7% in Q3 compared to Q2. On the individual vertical level, retail also saw its clear price increase.
The cost to buy RTB ads on retail and commerce sites increased in Q3 as well, according to the RTB 500. There was a general upward trend in price beginning in mid-July and continuing through the end of August on retail and commerce sites. Prices began to decrease in early September -- perhaps because back-to-school shopping was coming to a close -- but the price did not fall below where it began the quarter. The RTB 500 is a composite of the price of media on 500 leading publishers representing the supply and demand of the open RTB marketplace.
Per the report, the top three DSPs in the market accounted for 55% of all programmatic spend last quarter -- up 4% from the quarter before. Casale notes that it “marks the third consecutive quarter over which the share of spend held by the top three platforms grew.”
Casale Media's report also reveals that marketers continue to take programmatic technologies into their own hands, as “spend originating from marketer-owned seats posted the most growth over the period -- 2% more spend relative to Q2.” The report adds that managed service networks still account for the majority of spending, though that model saw its share of spend decreased 6% in Q3 compared to Q2.
The full report can be found here.