Current adoption and future of programmatic advertising

On 06 May, EACA participated in the “Virtual Programmatic Day – H1 2021” organized by IAB Europe. Underpinning the webinar is the study ‘Attitudes to Programmatic 2020’, published by IAB Europe in September 2020.

The IAB Europe Attitudes to Programmatic 2020 study highlighted the following:

  • an increase in the budget spent on digital advertising continues to increase, in particular on programmatic advertising. In 2020, it appeared that 70% of advertisers spent more than 41% of their budget on programmatic advertising.
  • Video remains a crucial driver of programmatic investment among agencies, with 54% of agencies surveyed investing 41% of their resources in the video.
  • Authorized Digital Sellers, or ads.txt, is an IAB Tech Lab initiative that helps ensure that digital advertising inventory is only sold through sellers that have been identified as authorized. As advertisers invest more in programmatic advertising, the number of agencies making use of ads.txt inventory increases. 52% of publishers said they were selling more than 81% of their programmatic ads through ads.txt.
  • The industry’s in-housing trend is now declining, as advertisers with an in-house model have reduced by 18%.

What is the feeling about programmatic ads?

On the advertisers’ side, optimism about increasing their programmatic investments in the coming year has dropped to 40% this year (from 74% in 2019). That said, 50% still expect to maintain the same spending levels.

Similarly, agencies’ confidence in increasing programmatic investments in 2020 decreased to 58% ((down from 92% in 2019). Almost a quarter (24%) think their investment levels will remain the same.

Publishers seem to be more optimistic. 83% of them expect an increase in revenue from programmatic trading over the next 12 months – only 5% less than in 2019. In addition, 79% of technology providers expect an increase in activity (only 8% less than in 2019).

In conclusion, therefore, there seems to be a tendency to “wait and see what happens” to assess the 2020 events’ actual impact.