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Video will account for almost half of US programmatic ad spend in 2019

David Murphy

US marketers will spend $29.24bn (£22.47bn) on programmatic video this year, which accounts for 49.2 per cent of all US programmatic digital display ad spend, according to the latest forecast from eMarketer. For the next few years, the analyst expects the share of programmatic spend that goes to video to remain steady, rising to 49.7 per cent in 2020 and to 49.9 per cent in 2021.

“The near 50-50 split of spending is an indicator of how eager buyers and sellers have become to capitalize on video advertising in any and all forms,” said eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher. "It also speaks to how quickly both sides have embraced programmatic as the primary method for buying and selling these ads."

Last September, eMarketer forecast that programmatic video would represent 48.7 per cent of all US programmatic ad spending by 2020. The forecast has been revised upward due to growth in programmatic spending on connected TV, over-the-top (OTT) video and social video advertising.

eMarketer includes the majority of social video in its definition of programmatic video because platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat allow advertisers to transact via programmatic direct ad manager tools. The analyst expected the combined programmatic video ad revenues of social networks today to account for roughly a third of total programmatic video ad spending. Much of this spend is being directed through mobile devices.

Within programmatic video, dollars allocated to mobile devices edge out dollars given to desktop, laptop or connected TV only slightly this year. Mobile’s share of programmatic video will peak in 2020, at 53.9 per cent. By 2021, that share will dip, eMarketer believes, as ad buyers ramp up investments in areas such as connected TV.

Digitally native video companies like YouTube, Roku and Hulu are growing their ad businesses at a time when TV networks are opening more inventory to digital buyers, and as demand-side platforms (DSPs) are investing heavily in making TV ad buying more automated, targeted and measurable. These trends contribute to a growth in programmatic video spend.

eMarketer forecasts that 81.2 per cent of total digital video spend will be transacted programmatically in 2019. That’s slightly less than the 84.9 per cent of total digital display spend that will be transacted programmatically this year.

eMarketer PRO subscribers can read the full report here.

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