Commentary

Programmatic Continues To See Big Jumps: Spend Up 50% In Q4

Recent eMarketer projections predict programmatic ad spend to boom, with U.S. advertisers expected to spend $14.88 billion to purchase digital display ads programmatically this year -- just over a quarter of the $58.61 billion total digital ad spend anticipated this year.

Looking back at year-end 2014 data, it’s easy to see why programmatic ad spend is expected to continue to soar.

In its latest quarterly report, which examines data from Q4 2014, Index Exchange reveals that spend on its exchange grew by more than 50% quarter-over-quarter, as “all of the top sectors” boosted spend significantly. Travel was the only exception, as its programmatic spend remained constant, Index Exchange notes.

Retail continues to establish itself as a leading sector in the programmatic space, contributing almost one-third of overall programmatic spend during the quarter, per Index Exchange. It nearly doubled its programmatic spend in Q4 over Q3, a jump which is at least partially attributable to the holiday rush, no doubt.

Target was the leading individual brand (not surprising, given their focus on trading premium inventory via programmatic), followed by Gap, Best Buy, Verizon and Comcast. Walmart, Amazon, AT&T, GM and Microsoft round out the top 10 biggest spenders.

In the finance sector -- second behind retail in terms of programmatic spend during Q4 2014, though it only spent about one-third as much as retail -- American Express was the top spending brand once again. State Farm jumped from fourth to second and Walmart jumped from ninth to third. Progressive and All State rounded out the top five programmatic spenders in the finance sector during the quarter.

“Competition dramatically increased within the insurance segment,” notes Index Exchange, “where several brands -- State Farm, All State, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield -- ramped up their spend in Q4.”

As Real-Time Daily noted, much of this rapid growth is being led by the brands themselves. The number of client seats on the ad exchange has surpassed the number of agency seats, according to the report.

1 comment about "Programmatic Continues To See Big Jumps: Spend Up 50% In Q4".
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  1. Seth Ulinski from Swash, June 2, 2015 at 11:32 a.m.

    Worth noting that 2 of the top 10 programmatic ad spenders have taken active positions in not just operating, but actual ownship of ad tech, e.g. Verizon + Amazon.  Microsoft is still not "all in" from my seat, but timing seems right to make a move.  In addition to insourcing trend by global brands, will be interested to see how other major brands/industries pursue ad tech takeownership -- DSP? DMP? Both?  Tech and e-commerce co.'s are likely candidates, perhaps finance (e.g. AMEX) is next.

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