h115 ProgrammaticAdvertisingRevenue(US)BI Intelligence


  • Advertisers and publishers are rapidly adopting programmatic ad-buying and selling tools. More than four-fifths of agencies and brands already purchase display ads programmatically, while an even greater proportion of publishers are pursuing programmatic channels as part of their sales strategies, according to surveys and our own conversations with industry participants. Mobile is an increasingly large part of programmatic spending. At one programmatic platform, Criteo, four-fifths of clients are transacting across mobile and PCs. 
  • This year, the US digital-ad market will reach a programmatic "tipping-point": For the first time this year, programmatic transactions will be a majority (52%) of digital-ad spend. We estimate 30.6% of total digital-ad spend will go to programmatic real-time bidding (RTB) platforms, and 21.7% will go to non-RTB programmatic. 
  • Spending on programmatic advertising is growing quickly, at ~20% annually. US programmatic ad revenue, including RTB and non-RTB transactions, will top nearly $15 billion this year, according to BI Intelligence estimates. This number will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% and climb to $35.5 billion by year-end 2020.
    • Real-time bidding is growing even faster than programmatic overall, at a five-year CAGR of 24%. In real-time bidding, which accounts for well over half of programmatic advertising, the ad buyer bids on ad impressions in the milliseconds between the moment when a page opens and content loads. Real-time bidding revenue will top over $26 billion by year-end 2020, up from $8.7 billion this year. 
    • Mobile RTB (46%) and video RTB (36%) will grow even faster. 
  • Many programmatic-oriented companies have experienced significant revenue gains as the technology becomes more widespread. Spending on four of the top programmatic-ad platforms totaled nearly $900 million during the fourth quarter of 2014, up by 37% from the same period the previous year. 
  • Media-agency programmatic trading desks are being decentralized as programmatic expertise begins to permeate the agency ecosystem. This means clients are more likely to work directly with the agency-side professionals handling their programmatic planning and executions (formerly delegated to the trading desks), creating more transparency and trust around programmatic spending. This may speed growth [...]