eMarketer: Programmatic Continues to Grow in the UK

Marketers embrace programmatic despite negative press, transparency concerns

London: 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% from the prior year. This programmatic spend represents 79.0% of all UK digital display ad spending, and that proportion will reach 84.5% by 2019, eMarketer estimates.

Mobile continues to be a major growth driver of programmatic in the UK, accounting for more than three-quarters (78.0%) of total programmatic digital display ad spending in 2017; that figure will reach 86.5% come 2019. The numbers for desktop, meanwhile, are declining—both proportionally and in real terms. Just 22.0% of programmatic ad spending, or £743.8 million, will go to desktop this year, and those numbers will fall to 13.5% 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 authorize 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.”

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

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