Report: Two-thirds of global digital display ads to be sold programmatically by 2019

Over $1 billion will be traded programmatically in Australia this year

The lion's share of global digital display advertising (67 per cent) will be sold programmatically by 2019, up from 59 per cent in 2017, according to Zenith Programmatic Marketing Forecasts.

“In Australia, we estimate that 24.6 per cent of display, or $A1.064 billion, will be traded programmatically this year, rising to 55.1 per cent, or $A2.177 billion in 2019,” Zenith Australia CEO, Nickie Scriven, said. 

Nickie Scriven
Nickie Scriven

Zenith global brand president, Vittorio Bonori, explained how many brands are tying together programmatic technology with unique consumer data sets and machine-learning in order to optimise their digital communications, which enables them to respond in real time to consumer behaviour and continually improve upon campaign results.

Globally, the value of advertising sold programmatically will rise from US$57.5bn in 2017 to US$84.9bn in 2019, growing at an average rate of 21 per cent a year.

According to the report, programmatic trading has evolved far from its roots of building cheap coverage from remnant inventory.

“It now often occurs in premium environments, using private deals in which agencies can use their scale and relationship with publishers to ensure their clients ads are displayed in the right place and at the right price,” the report stated.

“The key to success is the ability to create unique data sets that deliver unique competitive advantages, usually based on first-party data or data partnerships, and to apply these datasets to tailor brand messages and communicate them at the points most likely to move consumers along the consumer journey.”

According to the report, programmatic techniques are starting to spread from internet advertising to more ‘traditional’ media - a trend already starting to take hold in the US, considered by far the largest programmatic market.

It is estimated US$5.6bn will be spent programmatically across television, radio, cinema and outdoor in the US this year, representing 6 per cent of total ad expenditure in these media. By 2019, the total is expected to rise to US$13.0bn, or 13.6 per cent of the total.

“The continued growth in programmatic buying in Australia signifies the desire for our customers to focus on being more data-led and technology enabled to unlock true business return on investment,” Publicis media chief digital and technology officer, Jason Tonelli, said.

“Australia has always been at the forefront of these technological advancements, and we will continue to look for new ways to drive growth for our customers whilst providing the best environment for our advertisers to operate in this ecosystem.”

Zenith head of forecasting and director of global intelligence, Jonathan Barnard, said it won’t be long until the global display market is fully programmatic - the question is how rapidly programmatic techniques will spread to other media.

“ We will be keeping a close eye on developments in the US as a guide to likely developments in the rest of the world.”

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