SYDNEY: Australia leads the UK on mobile programmatic buying and only lags the US by a year according to a leading industry figure.

Antoine Barbier, global head of mobile product at TubeMogul, the video advertising platform, told AdNews that registered available programmatic mobile video auctions were up by 248% during 2014. "You can really feel that it's picking up here, particularly in the last three months," he said.

Over the past nine months he had observed "exponential growth" in the US programmatic mobile video market "and this is set to happen in Australia", he declared.

"The Australian market is much more into programmatic than the UK market," he added, while "the US is roughly one year ahead of Australia, in terms of the trends around spend".

Barbier pointed out that US spend on mobile had doubled from 2.9% in the first quarter to 5.3% in the second quarter. "It will happen quickly in Australia too," he said.

"As a brand marketer you don't have a choice about advertising on mobile devices if you want to reach these audiences," he continued. And while programmatic mobile video ad spend had yet to follow, he was of the opinion that "programmatic mobile can help brands and agencies making the move to spend more on mobile."

The key, he argued was to provide cross-device offerings, but there was still work to be done in this area.

He was optimistic about the current development of mobile targeting but felt audience measurement still had some way to go. "We simply need third-party auditing here in Australia," he said.

But he was hopeful that 2015 would see changes leading towards the ability to carry out cross-device measurement and from there to contextual targeting.

"People spend their time on games and social and video apps and that is what will drive opportunities for brand advertisers which is what people need to realise," Barbier said, quoting TubeMogul figures showing that 85% of mobile video programmatic ads are placed inside these apps and that 10% of time is spent watching videos on the mobile web.

Data sourced from AdNews; additional content by Warc staff