Programmatic Advertising Trends, Stats, & News [October 2021]

Programmatic advertising is soaring to new and exciting heights, with ad spend expected to accelerate to nearly $100 billion in 2022. This growing method for buying ads has quickly become a crucial component of an ecommerce brand’s successful marketing mix.

Programmatic can help you reach customers along their entire path to purchase and drive more valuable conversions. It’s no wonder that marketers are putting more than 50% of their media budget into programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising is an efficient, data-driven way of buying highly relevant audiences at scale. It is the most efficient way to buy digital ads and get your ad live in the current advertising landscape.

In this article, we’ll be sharing the most current programmatic advertising news, stats, and trends. Check back for updates as this ad buying method continues to propel forward.


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October 11

How programmatic advertising works across marketplaces

There are three components to programmatic advertising:

1. Supply-side platform (SSP)

2. Exchanges

3. Demand-side platform (DSP)

The supply-side platform facilitates the sale of publisher inventory, pushing to the exchanges that provide access to inventory across an array of premium sites and apps. The SSP and DSP both push to the exchanges.

The demand-side platform is where brands go to bid on ad inventory and set up campaign parameters based on the programmatic campaign’s KPIs or other goals. From there, sophisticated audience targeting capabilities like time of day, demographics, and geolocation, as well as contextual targeting, interest targeting, and retargeting get layered in. Once the campaign is running, the only thing left to do is keep a close eye on campaign performance and progress in hitting KPIs.

October 4

Programmatic ad spend stats (2021)

  • Programmatic ad spend is projected to approach $80 billion in 2021, up from just $63 billion in 2020 (Statista)
  • By the end of 2022, programmatic advertising spend is projected to reach nearly $100 billion dollars (eMarketer)
  • Programmatic is projected to account for 72% of digital display ad spend in 2021 (Statista)
  • Programmatic video ad spend is projected to surpass $35 billion in 2021 – a 31.3% YoY increase (Statista)
  • Digital OOH ad spend for programmatic is expected to account for 10.8% of digital out-of-home ad spend in 2021 (eMarketer)
  • Digital OOH ad spend has more than tripled since 2019 and is expected to approach $534 million by 2022 (eMarketer)

September 27

Programmatic advertising on Amazon, Walmart, & more

Programmatic advertising automates the buying and selling of ad inventory, giving brands the ability to purchase digital ads within milliseconds. The real-time, advanced targeting capabilities offered by programmatic make it the most efficient way to buy digital ads across different marketplaces in the current advertising landscape.

How does programmatic advertising across different open marketplaces work?

  • Amazon: The Amazon DSP empowers brands to programmatically purchase display, video, and audio ads both on and off Amazon using Amazon shopper data. It also gives advertisers access to unique Amazon offerings like IMDb, Fire TV, Twitch, and more. Amazon DSP provides both self-service and managed-service options.
  • Walmart: Walmart will get its own DSP this year, built on leading global DSP solution The Trade Desk. Walmart’s DSP will give brands access to Walmart in-store and online shopping data to deliver personalized experiences to shoppers. Third-party data from The Trade Desk’s own DSP will also be available for even more granular ad targeting and ad inventory options.
  • Kroger: Kroger first introduced its DSP solution in 2018, boasting advanced targeting capabilities using customer data from its loyalty program, mobile app, in-store and online purchases.
  • CVS: The CVS Media Exchange (CMX) launched just last year. The platform can be used to serve ads across channels like video, search, social, and banner ads in addition to in-store and other out-of-home displays. CVS uses data from its loyalty program in addition to other purchase history and interest-based data to power CMX.
  • Target: Target’s programmatic offerings live under Roundel, which centers itself on its verifiable first-party data from its loyalty app and in-store and online purchases, brand-safe inventory, and informative results measurement.

September 20

Third-party cookie deprecation + programmatic advertising

Web tracking as we know it is going away. By early 2022, Google will phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome and transform how brands track, target, and engage with customers.

49% of digital media professionals say third-party cookie deprecation is the top challenge their brand is facing in 2021.

Third-party cookies provide data about a shopper’s interests, past purchases, frequently visited websites, and more. Any brand that uses data for online advertising and targeting will be impacted by Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome.

Brands large and small will need to reimagine how data is collected and leveraged throughout all stages of the funnel, from new customer acquisition to remarketing. Attribution, unique
visitor counting, ad personalization, and retargeting will all change when cookies go away. Creating cross-device and multi-touch attribution models will also be more difficult without third-party cookies, especially if the user isn’t logged into an app.

September 13

Programmatic vs. Google Display Network

Before programmatic, there was Google AdWords, which runs ads through the Google Display Network (GDN). Unlike programmatic, Google ads rely more on keyword targeting and depend on impressions for cost.

Programmatic and Google both have the potential to boost your brand’s profitable growth. However, there are some key similarities and differences to take into consideration when examining these options for your digital marketing strategy.

Ad Types: Through GDN, video ads can only be run through YouTube. Programmatic allows for additional advertising opportunities such as CTV and cross-device video across the web. While programmatic offers more ad options than GDN, they both give brands the ability to use standard display banners ads to reach a targeted audience.

Inventory: Google’s ad network is only accessible via GDN, meaning advertisers have limited inventory space. Programmatic allows advertisers to tap additional data and inventory sources for increased scale. Inventory is limitless because advertisers have access to nearly every premium site on the web, meaning brands are not limited in terms of scale.

Targeting: Both programmatic and Google provide the ability to deliver ads based on a variety of targeting tactics including demographics, interests, and keywords. Programmatic allows brands to reach shoppers out of their homes with highly visual creative on digital billboards and other outdoor displays. Google also has some strong offline to online capabilities, allowing brands to track when an online ad leads a customer down the funnel to an in-store purchase.

Control: Strong brand safety measures available on DSPs allow for deeper integration with first-, second-, and third-party data. Programmatic and the GDN both provide the ability to cap campaign-level frequency on a daily or monthly basis, meaning advertisers can ensure an ad is seen the optimal number of times across the entire campaign to avoid oversaturation.

September 7

14 Programmatic Stats Your Brand Needs to Know

In 2020 and despite the pandemic, US programmatic digital display advertising spend increased more than 10%, and is projected to grow an additional 24.1% in 2021. Is your brand effectively leveraging one of the most lucrative advertising channels available?

In this infographic, you’ll uncover data and trends including overall programmatic ad spend and future projections, as well as channel-specific metrics for connected TV, video, streaming audio, podcasts, radio, out-of-home (OOH) advertising, and more.

If you’re still a bit unsure of whether programmatic is the right fit for your brand, claim your copy to get a clear picture of how effective programmatic advertising can be for your brand.

August 30

New report: Programmatic advertising in a cookieless world

Since the dawn of digital, marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity. But the world of marketing is changing. The departure of browser-based tracking is upon us.

By late 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome and transform how brands track, target, and engage with customers. In other words, web tracking as we know it is going away.

Adhering to consumer data privacy regulations and being transparent about what your brand does with consumer data is no longer a choice. But right now, programmatic buyers rate their organizations’ readiness for cookie deprecation at only 3.5 on a scale of 1-5. Is your brand prepared? In this white paper, you’ll uncover insights like:

  • The who, what, and when behind the impact of third-party cookie deprecation
  • Unexpected opportunities to drive targeted campaigns once cookies go away with programmatic advertising
  • How brand executives and marketers like you plan to profitably navigate a post-cookie world

Lift the cloud of confusion around the cookieless future and make sure your programmatic strategy is equipped to handle the changes. Get the report today.

August 23

Determining your programmatic advertising KPIs

Whether your programmatic campaigns are focused on upper- and mid-funnel prospecting or lower-funnel channels like paid search or social media remarketing, key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you understand how your programmatic campaigns are performing across the entire marketing funnel.

Knowing what you want your brand’s programmatic campaign to accomplish is the first step of establishing a KPI. Then, you’ll put the right metrics in place to measure the campaign’s success in reaching your goal.

The goal of top-of-funnel programmatic advertising campaigns is typically to increase brand awareness. KPIs like impressions and reach will help indicate whether your upper-funnel programmatic campaign is achieving its brand awareness goal.

The decision of where to spend your brand’s marketing budget becomes even more important the further shoppers move down the funnel. KPIs like number of unique website visitors, number of qualified prospects, clicks, and cost per click can all reveal the success of your mid-funnel programmatic campaign.

The bottom of the funnel is where a browser becomes a buyer. The end goal of this stage is to make a sale, but there are many relevant metrics that can be tracked around that goal. KPIs like conversion rate and cost per acquisition will help your brand understand the bottom line of your programmatic campaign’s success.

August 18

Special programmatic ad types: OOH & streaming audio

Programmatic opens the door to myriad unique advertising options. In addition to cross-device display units and video ads, programmatic also offers digital out-of-home advertising and streaming audio options.

While out-of-home advertising can be perceived as more traditional, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Data such as time of day, weather conditions, and location are enough to drive a relevant experience for consumers who see your ad.

Digital OOH ad spend for Programmatic is expected to reach $350 million in 2021 after being at just $90 million in 2019.

Programmatic also gives brands highly customizable advertising opportunities through major digital audio streaming platforms like Pandora, Spotify, and more. A business can purchase 15-30 second audio spots, run banner ads, and capitalize on other advertising options to serve personalized ads to listeners.

Due to the personalization and breadth of users on streaming audio services, brands can serve ads with exactly the right messaging for the moment based on the time of day and other anonymized consumer data.

August 9

Top 4 benefits of programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is a powerful conversion strategy for both prospecting throughout the mid- to upper-funnel as well as supporting lower-funnel channels like paid search or social media remarketing. But what exactly are the benefits of programmatic advertising over non-automated ad buying solutions?

1. Timesaver: With programmatic advertising, brands only have to go to one programmatic partner and send one IO to be seen across a variety of sites that align with the target audience. Manual options require advertisers to go directly to individual publishers, send an IO to each one, and manage each separately, which is both time-consuming and costly.

2. Provides limitless inventory: Programmatic provides limitless inventory because advertisers have access to nearly every premium website and can purchase inventory across the web in real-time to serve highly targeted ads within milliseconds. Manual options restrict advertisers to a limited amount of inventory per month because each publisher can only serve ads within their own site.

3. Prevents wasted ad spend: With its heavily data-driven approach, programmatic helps ensure your brand’s ad dollars are only spent on relevant audiences who are highly likely to be interested in your brand. Brands relying on manual ad buying options are more likely to waste ad dollars on impressions that won’t convert because it’s impossible for everyone visiting the site an ad appears on to fall into a brand’s target audience.

4. Optimizes campaign frequency: Programmatic allows brands to limit the amount of times an ad is seen by a user, ensuring your campaign is seen the optimal number of times across the entire campaign without overwhelming the shopper. The inability to cap campaign frequency with manual advertising means your ad could be seen too many times, leading to oversaturation that causes the user to become disinterested in or even annoyed with your brand.

August 2

New video: Programmatic for data-driven targeting & advertising at scale

Programmatic advertising is soaring to new and exciting heights, with ad spend expected to accelerate to nearly $100 billion in 2022. This growing method for buying ads has quickly become a crucial component of an ecommerce brand’s successful marketing mix.

Implementing your winning programmatic strategy will be an intentional process. How can you feel confident that your brand takes the right steps to flourish with programmatic? In this on-demand video, join experts from ROI’s newly expanded programmatic team to reveal the exciting advertising opportunities offered by programmatic and uncover insights like:

  • The hidden mechanisms behind the programmatic ad buying process
  • 4 key programmatic advertising strategies to reach your target audience on an efficient ad budget
  • The critical nuances that differentiate display advertising through programmatic vs. the Google Display Network
  • Unparalleled opportunities for you to reach your target audience despite growing consumer data and privacy concerns

Make sure you step into the world of programmatic with steady footing. Watch the webinar replay today and see your brand’s programmatic profitability soar to new heights.

July 26

New infographic: Thriving with programmatic in the era of cookieless

Since the dawn of digital, marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity. But the world of marketing is changing. The departure of browser-based tracking is upon us.

By late 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome and transform how brands track, target, and engage with customers.

Adhering to consumer data privacy regulations and being transparent about what your brand does with consumer data is no longer a choice. In this infographic, you’ll uncover data and stats about post-cookie attribution and targeting, strategies brands are using to navigate the loss of cookies, and how cookie deprecation will impact ecommerce.

Claim your copy to help ensure your brand is prepared for the cookie to crumble.

July 19

Programmatic + digital radio stats (2021)

  • Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music are expected to have a combined 190.7 million active listeners in 2021, surpassing 203 million by 2023 (Statista)
  • US podcast ad spending will surpass $1 billion for the first time in 2021
  • (Statista)
  • Programmatic digital radio ad spend is projected to surge 46% to $897 billion this year (Statista)
  • 16.5% of digital radio ads will be purchased programmatically in 2021 (eMarketer)
  • Time spent with digital audio increased 8.3% in 2020 and is expected to grow another 4.8% in 2021 (eMarketer)

July 12

Developing your brand’s programmatic strategy

$100 billion. That’s what programmatic ad spend is expected to approach in 2022 after jumping over 24% this year. This growing method for buying ads has quickly become a crucial component of a successful marketing mix.

But mastering programmatic advertising isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. Implementing your brand’s programmatic strategy is an intentional process that takes patience and commitment. How can you feel certain you’re taking the right steps? In this webinar on July 13 at 11 am ET, join experts from ROI’s newly expanded programmatic team to uncover insights like:

  • The hidden mechanisms behind the programmatic ad buying process
  • 4 key programmatic advertising strategies to reach your target audience on an efficient ad budget
  • The critical nuances that differentiate display advertising through programmatic vs. the Google Display Network
  • Unparalleled opportunities for you to reach your target audience despite growing consumer data and privacy concerns

Don’t let the benefits of programmatic pass your brand by. Register today and watch your brand’s programmatic profitability soar to new heights.

July 6

What ads can be purchased with programmatic?

Programmatic offers an array of effective ad types to reach your target audience, including cross-device display units and video. The three main cross-device ad types for programmatic are standard banner ads, native banner ads, and rich media banners.

  • Standard banner ad: Appears on the top or sides of web pages. Available in many different sizes.
  • Native banner ad: “Recommended” or “sponsored” content. Match the look and feel of the rest of the media on a page.
  • Rich media banner: Interactive, highly visual animation like a pushdown, expandable, or carousel unit. Invite the user to engage with your ad.

The four main types of video ads for programmatic are pre-roll, super pre-roll, native, and over-the-top (OTT).

  • Pre-roll: Plays before the video user selects to watch; the most basic video ad type that consumers feel highly familiar and comfortable with.
  • Super pre-roll: Includes interactive components like rollover widgets, social icons, quizzes, polling, etc.
  • Native: Takes on the look and feel of the environment in which it’s served.
  • Over-the-top: Runs through a smart TV, gaming console, or other device like Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, or Apple TV.

June 29

Programmatic + connected TV stats (2021)

  • Connected TV programmatic display ad spend grew 36.5% to $4.53 billion in 2020, up from $3.32 in 2019 (Deloitte)
  • Since 2019, more consumers have been paying for connected TV services than cable TV (Statista)
  • Connected TV programmatic display ad spend is projected to hit $8.88 billion in 2022, up from a projected $6.93 billion in 2021 (Statista)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic drove more consumers than ever to pay for over-the-top video services like YouTube TV and Hulu + With TV, with Over-the-Top (OTT) subscription revenue soaring 41.2% in 2020. (eMarketer)
  • Connected TV programmatic display ad spend is projected to grow X% to $6.93 billion in 2021, up from $4.53 billion in 2020 (Statista)
  • Programmatic ad spend for CTV is projected to surge 53% in 2021 over 2020 (Statista)

June 22

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising is an efficient, data-driven way of buying highly relevant audiences at scale. It is the quickest way to purchase ad inventory online and get your ad live.

Traditionally, advertisers have had to spend time going directly to publishers, with a limited amount of inventory available per month. Poor targeting capabilities and a lack of campaign-level frequency have often created a trap for wasted ad spend.

Programmatic advertising allows brands to strike the perfect balance of shoppers seeing and being compelled by an ad without feeling overwhelmed.

With its data-driven approach, programmatic takes less time to implement, scales faster, and drives better targeting than many manual advertising methods. It helps ensure that your ad dollars are only spent on relevant audiences who are highly likely to be interested in your brand.

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