US programmatic adspend will double

20 October 2014

NEW YORK: Programmatic adspend in the US is expected to grow exponentially over the next two years, rising from just over $10bn this year to $20.41bn in 2016, according to new analysis from eMarketer.

The research firm examined dozens of data sources and conducted interviews with more than 50 ad agency executives to reach its conclusion.

With growth of 137.1% in 2014, programmatic adspend will top $10bn this year and will account for 45% of total US digital display adspend this year.

It is then projected to rise another 47.9% in 2015, valuing it at $14.88bn and representing 55% of the total display ad market, before rising a further 37.2% in 2016 when programmatic will account for 63%.

"Programmatic advertising has gotten a lot of hype in the past 12 to 24 months, but it's finally fair to say that today, holdouts on participation are proving the exception, not the norm," said Lauren Fisher, an eMarketer analyst.

"2014 has proven a pivotal year, and with the majority of infrastructure now laid and testing well in progress, we'll see programmatic ad spending explode from 2015 into 2016," she added.

Much of the growth is coming via the mobile channel, eMarketer said, and this year mobile will account for 44.1% of all US programmatic display adspend, or $4.44bn.

Mobile is also expected to overtake desktop as early as next year, taking 56.2% of all programmatic adspend in the country.

Another trend highlighted in the report is the growing impact of programmatic direct as a transaction method.

Growth is currently driven by real-time bidding (RTB), which accounts for 92% of programmatic adspend this year, but RTB's share is expected to fall to 58% in 2016.

The space will be filled by programmatic direct – the hybrid model between the traditional direct deals and the new automated deals – and it is forecast to account for the remaining 42% of the US programmatic market by 2016, or $8.57bn.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff