SINGAPORE: The use of programmatic buying is growing rapidly across Asia and could lead to a reduction in the number of media agencies, according to leading industry figures.

A report from Brandscreen, a demand-side platform, found that both impression volume and spending had risen 80% in Southeast Asia in a 12 month period. "There's too much to be gained for CMOs and ad-buyers to not feverishly, wholeheartedly embrace programmatic," declared chief executive Stuart Spiteri.

And he expected the practice to extend into other channels. "There is no reason that every single piece of media can't be bought and sold programmatically," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

The rise of programmatic, however, was likely to affect media agencies, said Daniel Schotland, VP operations at tech service company TubeMogul. He told Ad News that in future they could find it difficult to carry on business in the same way and would need to diversify. "It could be a programmatic or bust situation," he said.

Spiteri also shared a useful nugget from the Brandscreen Real-Time Insights Report, which noted a build-up in buying activity during the course of each month and each quarter, leading to increased competition and higher prices at the end of each period, followed by a sudden drop-off at the start of the next month when new campaigns had yet to be loaded onto the system.

Brands could therefore, if they were willing to think differently and avoid the herd, pick up the same inventory for half the price.

Schotland observed a need for a "more holistic" approach to video buying, with the ability to plan reach and frequency across a multitude of devices. "For buyers it used to be 'what sites are we buying on?' but we are seeing a transition to audience," he explained.

Spiteri saw that approach going a step further in programmatic commerce, where vertical-specific data was combined with auction algorithms written to suit that market and so deliver more of the customers a brand was looking for.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff