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Google offers tool to provide more clarity on programmatic ad costs

The news: Google announced a program last week that will help provide more clarity into the fees associated with programmatic advertising. A tool in its ad tech system will give brands and agencies insights about how money goes to publishers on its platform.

  • The move is intended to address a longstanding concern about transparency in programmatic advertising by showing where the funds an advertiser spent were allocated.

Programmatic defined: Most US display ads are programmatic—but what does that mean? In short, programmatic ads are bought and sold through automation rather than directly from publishers.

  • Of the $143.55 billion advertisers will spend on digital display this year, the vast majority (90.2%) will transact programmatically.
  • US programmatic display ad spending will rise from $129.48 billion this year to $172.26 billion in 2024.
  • Programmatic purchasing is growing in other channels. For example, it will account for 15.6% of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising this year.

Plethora of players: A host of ad tech partners make the programmatic marketplace click. Here’s a brief look at just a few.

  • Ad verification firms can integrate with demand-side platforms (DSPs) to ensure ad placements meet desired criteria on metrics such as brand safety and filter out invalid traffic. Then, once a purchase is made, these players can measure it to confirm that advertisers received what they thought they would.
  • Measurement and attribution partners tag ads and ingest data from various sources to ascertain unique reach and frequency, and to connect media exposures to actions taken by consumers.
  • Clean rooms are also on the rise. These secure digital environments allow multiple parties to share first-party data to produce audience and campaign insights. They allow for anonymized data collaboration without exposing raw data to any other party.

The lines between these players are increasingly less defined, and many ad tech partners don’t fit exclusively into one place or another. Google, for example, has many ad tech products across the buy and sell sides.

Go further: For more information on how programmatic advertising works and our most recent ad spending forecast, read our Programmatic Advertising Explainer report.