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Programmatic continues to grow in the UK

December 12, 2017

eMarketer’s latest forecast of programmatic ad spending indicates that, despite recent negative press, the UK remains a market leader in programmatic, and strong growth will continue over the next few years.

By the end of 2017, advertisers are expected to spend an estimated £3.39 billion on programmatic trading, up 23.5 per cent from the prior year. This programmatic spend represents 79 per cent of all UK digital display ad spending, and that proportion will reach 84.5 per cent by 2019, eMarketer estimates.

Mobile continues to be a major growth driver of programmatic in the UK, accounting for more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of total programmatic digital display ad spending in 2017; that figure will reach 86.5 per cent come 2019. The numbers for desktop, meanwhile, are declining—both proportionally and in real terms. Just 22 per cent of programmatic ad spending, or £743.8 million, will go to desktop this year, and those numbers will fall to 13.5 per cent and £609.5 million in 2019.

“The programmatic ecosystem is growing because it’s maturing,” eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher said. “This maturation is leading to better practices, better behavior and better transparency. Making everybody in the chain accountable is the next step in cleaning up programmatic’s image further. For example, the recent Ads.txt initiative from IAB Tech Lab is one such step. This tool essentially allows publishers to publicly declare the companies they authorise to sell their digital inventory.”

He added: “There will be more initiatives to come, and as they come online, greater levels of trust will be placed in trading digital display inventory via programmatic pipes.”

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