Programmatic media offers sophisticated targeting, which is transforming marketing plans. The industry has developed at a rapid pace and there is a continued need for education among advertisers and agencies, to make best use of the possibilities. The rise of programmatic has helped to fuel advertisers’ concerns around online advertising, including viewability of online ads, brand safety and digital transparency.


An automated method of buying media where data is leveraged, often in real-time, to make decisions on a per-impression basis.

Key insights

1. Programmatic's share of digital ad trade is rising globally

According to WARC Data and MAGNA Global, programmatic (including search and social) accounted for over a third of the value of US ad trade in 2016. This share of ad spend is expected to rise closer to 39% in 2017 (more than double that recorded in 2013). Programmatic spend has grown at a compound annual rate of 23.6% over this time, compared with 18.2% growth for all digital spend and 4.5% for the total US ad market. This definition incorporates social and search which are are inherently programmatic formats. In 2017 the value of programmatic video and banner (excluding social) spending was expected to rise 25%, with all key markets experiencing double digit growth. The US accounts for almost half of the spend, with Asia-Pacific the second-largest region ahead of Western Europe. Globally, half the value of non-social online video and banner ads will be traded programmatically in 2017, rising to a 63% share by 2020.