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Computers Have Conquered Digital Display – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Computers Have Conquered Digital Display

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Display, the original and simplest form of digital media, was also the first to harness ad exchanges to transact programmatically in 2005.  Now just 13 years later it’s rare to buy a display impression outside of a programmatic channel.  According to eMarkerter’s latest research an astounding 82% of display media will be transacted programmatically in 2018.  In the US alone this represents $46B for just this year – so we’re not talking peanuts here.

While those are impressive stats, it gets even more interesting if you look inside the numbers in the chart below.  The prog display marketplace used to be dominated by Open Exchanges.  However, since buyers would bid on this inventory in a blind environment the exchanges became the perfect breeding ground for ad fraud.  As a result clients and agencies started shifting to programmatic direct buying with named publishers.  This method now represents about 60% of all the prog display being transacted.  The other 40% is still RTB (Real Time Bidding) programmatic, but almost half of that amount is being transacted via PMP (Private Marketplace) deals, again with named premium publishers.  As a result only 23% of prog display is still being transacted on Open Exchanges – amazing to think that used to be the entire market.

After watching the evolution of prog display it’s pretty easy to imagine a day when 80%-90% of any standard digital ad unit could be transacted programmatically.  Yes Video and Audio, I’m talking to you.  Then once those markets shift to programmatic could traditional media be far behind?


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