While Programmatic Growth Has Decelerated, Q4 Looks 'Exciting' Thanks To Connected TV

The good news is that the programmatic digital advertising marketplace appears to be stable amid signs of a potential economic downturn. The bad news is that its expansion appears to be decelerating, according to monthly ad budget sentiment tracking by Wall Street equities firm Pivotal Research Group.

Analyzing the net difference among ad execs accelerating vs. those decelerating their ad budgets on The Trade Desk, the dominant supply-side programmatic media-buying platform (see market share responses below) and a publicly traded one, Pivotal's tracking shows the net accelerating has eroded from 38% in May to 27% in August.

Pivotal Senior Research Analyst Michael Levine says that could soon change, because the firm is even “more excited” about demand in the fourth quarter vs. the current one, citing The Trade Desk’s expansion into connected TV programmatic ad trading.

“We continue to see positive indication of traction in [connected TV], but the inflection point has not happened yet,” Levine writes in a note sent to investors Monday morning, adding: “Worth noting for investors, The Trade Desk participated in the newfronts this year, and the new TV season doesn’t start until the end of the third quarter. This should on the margin be a good tailwind for the fourth quarter and 2020.”

In particular, Levine noted that ad execs cited The Trade Desk’s recent partnership with Amazon for its fire stick ad inventory as a positive indicator of connected TV supply. He said that supply chain is “now live” and “should represent more ‘always on’ inventory, which will help with client adoption.”

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