- Google released a report titled "The State of Programmatic Direct" which found that programmatic direct deals on DoubleClick Ad Exchange more than tripled for the second consecutive year in 2016.
- Among ad formats seeing a strong programmatic showing, video was highlighted, with 6.5x faster growth in programmatic direct video impressions compared to display impressions in 2016.
- While programmatic direct on DoubleClick was up across platforms, mobile stood out with 2.4x growth in programmatic direct mobile impressions last year. Mobile impressions also grew 5.5x faster than those on desktop.
Google's latest report puts a fine line under something many marketers already knew: The industry is becoming not just mobile-first but especially focused on mobile video, with programmatic helping advertisers achieve scale in the space. Google has made moves to accommodate this shift, and late last month opened traditional TV ad inventory to programmatic buying through its DoubleClick Bid Manager in an attempt to bridge the gap between television and digital video.
The new report also found that more than 90 brands in Ad Age's list of the "Top 100 Largest Global Advertisers" made programmatic direct deals last year. That popularity is reflected in where budgets are flowing, and programmatic display spending is expected to reach $32.56 billion this year, accounting for 78% of total display ad spending, according to recently updated forecasts from eMarketer.
Google offered a number of reasons why marketers should be interested in programmatic advertising, noting that it offers early access to premium inventory — especially useful during key times like the holidays — the ability to apply data to determine when to execute an ad buy, along with using that data to highly target desired audiences and applying real-time optimization through insights gained on prior campaigns.
Still, some recent events have called into question just how effective large-scale plays with programmatic are. Chase recently cut back the number of sites serving its ad programmatically from 400,000 to 5,000 with no significant change to the cost of impressions or visibility of those ads.