Did Rise In Programmatic Lead Google CEO To Pledge $10 Billion To India's Digital Future?

MediaRadar’s analysis of programmatic advertising in the first half of 2020 puts growth at about 36%, despite a slump in April. The data shows that the number of brands running programmatic campaigns in January came in just under 34,000, rising to 45,000 in July.

When looking at the top 100 programmatic advertisers year-to-date, MediaRadar found that Tech Firms, Financial Services and Retail brands comprised more than half of the roster.

The top five DSPs used by these advertisers were DoubleClick, Amazon Associates, Verizon Ad Platform, MediaMath, and Sizmek.

Total programmatic spend since the COVID-19 pandemic began from April to July rose 11% year-over-year.

Programmatic in emerging countries provides a push into digital advertising. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, in July announced a sizable investment in India.

The company pledged $10 billion during the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Aside from Pichai's roots in India, recent data in the programmatic market suggests why the company he leads is investing in the country's success.



Diverse offerings in companies the size of Alphabet help to stabilize the company's earnings. Google, for example, is building out its programmatic audio infrastructure. In August, the company launched new offerings in Ad Manager and DV360 for programmatic audio buyers and sellers.

The move into programmatic audio sales and enhancements to its audio-buying offerings shows that the demand for programmatic audio inventory continues to grow.

The shift now allows publishers to sell audio inventory not only via direct deals, but through private marketplaces, programmatic guaranteed deals or on the open exchange. Buyers can access the inventory through select third-party DSPs and DV360.

Programmatic audio advertising -- or the use of technology to automate the insertion of advertisements into audio content such as podcasts, music streaming and online radio -- is nascent, but growing.

India today ranks second in the world in terms of the amount of time spent consuming content, according to a report published by digital media company Xaxis, which conducted a survey of brands, agency partners and media publishers to understand the drivers, challenges and adoption of programmatic audio as an option.

The survey tested the groups' knowledge of digital audio and programmatic audio, and then focused on understanding the drivers and barriers to digital audio and programmatic audio investment.

People in India devote on average 19.1 hours per week listening to music. Some 89% listen to music via on-demand streaming, while 64% reported listening to music via audio streaming services in the previous month and 62% used social media sites or apps to listen to music or watch music videos.

It appears that in India, mobile is the primary driver of growth for digital. It's no surprise that those in India spend the most time on social media, followed by video streaming sites, but Xaxis data also shows they are spending more time on streaming music.

This content is primarily viewed on mobile devices as 97% of people used smartphones to listen to music in the previous three months, according to the study, citing data from FPI, Music Listening 2019.

By 2030, the number of people expected to be connected to the internet is anticipated to reach 1 billion, according to KPMG: India's Digital Future: Mass of Niches.

A separate set of questions was fielded to Indian agencies, advertisers and publishers. There were 107 participants, of which 25 were publishers and media owners. The remainder were agencies and advertisers.

Some 71% of the agencies and advertisers that participated said they spend less than 10% of the their total ad spend on audio, whereas 17% of publishers and media owners said they get less than 10% revenue from audio advertising.

About 89% agencies and advertisers said they spend less than 10% of their total ad spend on programmatic audio advertising, whereas 50% of publishers and media owners said they get zero revenue from audio and programmatic audio advertising.

Perhaps the failure to educate points to the discrepancy in budget and revenue generated. Only 16% of agencies and advertisers are confident in their knowledge of digital audio advertising, compared with 21% of publishers and media owners, according to Xaxis data.

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