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The UK will remain a market leader in programmatic digital display ad spending, and this year eMarketer expects advertisers to spend £2.67 billion (€3.13bn) on programmatic trading, up 44 per cent from last year. And further growth is anticipated: This year, programmatically traded ads will account for 70 per cent of all UK digital display ad spending, and by the end of 2017 it will be more than three-quarters.
Trading via real-time bidding (RTB) has traditionally dominated the programmatic space in the UK, but programmatic direct, a pre-negotiated approach that does not involve an auction, is on course to overtake it. This year, RTB and programmatic direct spending will reach parity, at £1.33 billion each. However, by 2018, programmatic direct will account for 52 per cent of the programmatic total and £2.03 billion.
“Much of the programmatic direct total is accounted for by social media ad impressions, which are predominantly traded this way,” explained eMarketer UK analyst Bill Fisher. “However, outside of social, people are coming round to the greater degree of certainty offered by this way of trading. Even within the RTB total, private marketplaces—small, invitation-only auctions—are becoming increasingly prevalent as people seek more control over the programmatic trading function.”
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