Warc, the global publisher of advertising research, estimates that $63.4 billion in 2017 was spent on worldwide programmatic advertising platforms, but only about 40% ($25.4 billion) got to the “working media level.”
Warc says this means there is a “tech tax” of close to $30 billion. But this doesn’t include assumption of fraud -- which would lower working media dollars further.
If there is a 10% fraud assumption, that means $22.8 billion -- or 36% of the initial client investment -- is of “working media.” A 30% fraud assumption brings it down to $17.8 billion, and 28% for working media, per the researcher.
Of the initial programmatic worldwide client investment, 5% or $3.2 billion goes to the advertiser’s agency of record; 15% ($9.5 billion) to a trading desk; 10% ($6.3 billion) to a demand-side platform; 25% ($15.9 billion) to data/targeting/verification; and 5% ($3.2 billion) to an exchange.
The data -- from Warc, Magna Global, and the World Federation of Advertisers -- assumes a "one-size-fits-all" approach to programmatic buying; media deals and their programmatic tech components will vary.
What a comparison with the way that "traditional media" is organized. The typical fee for buying and servicing a national broadcast TV buy is 1% while national cable and spot TV come in around 3% as there are more sellers to deal with and more spots---in the case of cable---to keep track of. The same gigantic differentials apply for radio and print media, relative to digital. Does this make sense?