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Despite cooling growth, CTV is lifting the programmatic market

For the past few years, some of the biggest names in ad tech—The Trade Desk, PubMatic, Magnite—have held onto connected TV (CTV) as a shiny growth narrative. Although investors’ enthusiasm seems to have started subsiding, CTV does represent a massive long-term opportunity for ad tech stakeholders. In the near term, a good deal of programmatic CTV ad dollars will transact directly with platforms that are still committed to keeping their content and data behind garden walls.

CTV’s share of programmatic ad spending heads toward a plateau.

  • CTV advertising’s growth bonanza is behind us. After more than quadrupling over the last four years, CTV ad spending is heading for more moderate growth rates in the low double-digit territory. Nevertheless, with linear stagnating, CTV will still be responsible for virtually all of the converged TV market’s growth over the next few years.
  • But it’s still driving programmatic. CTV will grow more than three times as fast as mobile, and programmatic ad spending on desktop and laptop computers will be flat this year. In other words, despite its relatively small share of the total programmatic market, over 2 in 5 new programmatic ad dollars will go to CTV.
  • As mobile picks up steam, CTV’s momentum will wane. CTV has steadily gained share of the programmatic digital display market since 2017 and has easily overtaken desktop and laptop. But it’s unlikely to dethrone mobile as the king of programmatic. And as social networks continue to recuperate from Apple’s privacy changes, mobile will start gaining share of total programmatic ad spending once again.