Forecast: Nearly 80% Of U.S. Display Spending Will Be Programmatic

Despite the fact that programmatic media and ad tech, in general, have received a thrashing in recent months, spending on programmatic display advertising is projected to reach nearly $33 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. In fact, the digital researcher estimates that nearly four of every five U.S. display ad dollars will transact through programmatic pipes this year. Further,  that figure is expected to increase to 84.0% by 2019.

While the numbers are bullish, eMarketer noted that ad buyers and sellers, wanting more control over programmatic, are seguing to private marketplace deals. For example,  74.5% ($24.25 billion) of the U.S. digital display ad dollars transacted programmatically this year will go to private marketplaces and programmatic direct deals. And the amount of programmatic media purchased through open exchanges is declining. In 2017, programmatic direct will represent 56.0% of programmatic display spending, while 44% will be bought via real-time bidding, according to eMarketer.

“Private setups give buyers and sellers greater control over their automated buys,” stated  eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher.  “They may have initially served to bring in reticent buyers and sellers, but now private setups drive much of the change and momentum in the marketplace, as both parties seek greater control from their programmatic efforts.” 

Last year, for the first time, more than half of all U.S. digital video ad dollars were traded programmatically, and that portion will grow another 42.3% this year to $9.13 billion, according to eMarketer. By 2018, nearly three-quarters of all video ad dollars will transact programmatically. In mobile, nearly 80% of all U.S. mobile digital display ads are purchased programmatically, a portion that will rise to 85.2% by 2019.

Notably, eMarketer finds that direct deals are also popular for native advertising, asector that’s newer to programmatic. Not counting native ads placed on social networks, less than half of all U.S. native digital display ads are projected to transact programmatically this year. As more publishers move to programmatically driven native ad formats, such as in-feed ads and in-stream or in-article video, advertisers are eager to access them privately.

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