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Video Will Account for Almost Half of Programmatic Spend This Year

US marketers will spend $29.24 billion on programmatic video this year, which accounts for 49.2% of all US programmatic digital display ad spending. For the next few years, we expect the portion of programmatic spend that goes to video to remain steady.

“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,” eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher said. "And it also speaks to how quickly both sides have embraced programmatic as the primary method for buying and selling these ads."

Back in September 2018, we forecast that programmatic video would represent 48.7% of all US programmatic ad spending by 2020. We revised our forecast upward due to growth in programmatic spending on connected TV, over-the-top (OTT) video and social video advertising.

We include the majority of social video in our definition of programmatic video because platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat allow advertisers to transact via programmatic direct ad manager tools. We expect 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%. By 2021, that share will dip, 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.

We forecast that 81.2% of total digital video spend will be transacted programmatically in 2019. That’s slightly less than the 84.9% of total digital display spend that will be transacted programmatically this year.


eMarketer PRO subscribers can read the full “US Programmatic Ad Spending Update 2019” report now.

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