Spending on programmatic TV is expected to more than double to $2.16 billion in 2017 and continue increasing to $4.4 billion by 2018, according to a new forecast by eMarketer.
Programmatic spending on TV ads will represent a small but growing sharing of overall TV ad spending, according to the researcher. In its first forecast on the topic, eMarketer projects that programmatic TV (PTV) spending will increase 127.8% to $710 million this year. While programmatic will represent a small share of overall TV spending this year, just 1.0% of the total, that figure is expected to rise to 6.0% by 2018.
Of course programmatic ad spending on TV lags well behind outlays on digital video. This year, programmatic spending on digital video ads is expected to reach $5.51 billion, representing 56% of all digital video ad spending, according to eMarketer.
The researcher defines programmatic TV spend as the automated process for buying television ads through cable, satellite, or broadcast networks.
“There are several things driving the growth of programmatic TV, including ease of transactions and the ability to target ads,” stated eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Martín Utreras. “We expect national and local players to take a conservative approach at releasing inventories programmatically, amid fears they could cannibalize their inventory. At the same time, they’re working to become more adept at leveraging data for both ROI measurement and targeting.”
The market for addressable and programmatic TV remains challenging to quantify because it’s still new.
One ongoing challenge in distinguishing between addressable and PTV is that buyers and media companies each classify their buys differently. Often programmatic video and PTV teams are the same. While some agency buyers consider over-the-top buys within their traditional or linear TV conversations, some have dedicated advanced TV units. It might be a question of semantics but it's confusing, nonetheless.
Meanwhile, eMarketer plans to continue breaking out addressable TV ad spend separately from programmatic -- the two don’t currently overlap. Streaming video (or digital video, as eMarketer defines it) is a separate category as well.
Contrast eMarketer’s new forecast for PTV against one from IPG Mediabrands Magna Global. That forecast was issued in June 2015 and projected that $10 billion in TV ad budgets will run through programmatic platforms by 2019. Magna Global expects programmatic to represent 17% -- $10 billion -- of TV budgets by 2019, up from 4% and $2.5 billion of U.S. TV budgets in 2015. Magna defined programmatic TV buys as those going across a technology platform, including digital devices, set-top boxes and other platforms.
Frank Foster, a consultant who most recently served as SVP, general manager for TiVo Research and Analytics, offered some thoughts on PTV in an interview with Audience Buying Insider. Foster maintained that ensuring high quality inventory and data, transparency, operational efficiencies, and decent metrics will be keys to the growth of PTV spend.