LONDON: Programmatic trading accounted for almost one-third (28%) of UK digital display ad sales in 2013 and is forecast to grow to nearly half (47%) in 2014, new analysis of the programmatic ad market in the UK has established.

This could rise to up to 60-75% of total digital display advertising by 2017, according to the "Media Owner Sales Techniques" study from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB), which attributed the growth of programmatic to the efficiencies it provides.

The IAB said about £500m was traded programmatically last year out of a total £1.86bn spent on digital display ads while half (51%) of these sales were direct sales between publishers and agencies/advertisers and 22% came via ad networks.

The report, which the IAB states is the first ever to evaluate the programmatic ad market in the UK, also noted that the platform accounted for 37% of all digital display ads on mobile.

"It's important the industry understands how the market is split as it enables all those involved – media owners, advertisers and agencies – to take advantage of the exciting opportunities programmatic presents," said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the IAB.

"It's likely to grow even faster as the market becomes more experienced using programmatic, has a greater understanding of how it works, and is properly educated around the negative perceptions associated with programmatic trading," he added.

Warc's Programmatic Primer: An overview of the online advertising ecosystem, written and curated by digital marketing expert Ted McConnell, acts as an essential guide to the latest online advertising techniques.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff