2021 was a big year for digital advertising. Year-over-year (YoY) growth in digital ad spending far exceeded expectations, due in part to prosperity in programmatic display.

Programmatic display advertising is booming, with marketers increasing their spend despite lingering uncertainty as third-party identifiers are slowly phased out. Programmatic will continue gaining ground in years to come, as advertisers, ad tech platforms, and publishers collectively work toward a new normal.

What is programmatic digital display advertising?

Programmatic digital display advertising includes digital display ads transacted or fulfilled via automation, including everything from publisher-erected APIs to more standardized real-time bidding technology. It includes native ads and ads on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.


Programmatic digital display ad spending in 2022

Programmatic also owes its 2021 growth spurt to the burgeoning connected TV advertising market, which, in addition to bringing more video inventory to the web, has been increasing its use of automation since 2017.

Although growth in programmatic digital display ad spending will slow in 2022, advertisers will spend a healthy $123.22 billion. As a testament to its flexible nature and continued growth in connected TV (CTV), programmatic display will maintain a growth rate just over 2 percentage points higher than that of the total digital ad market through 2023.

In 2022, over 90% of all digital display ad dollars will transact programmatically. Within mobile display ad spending, programmatic crossed the 90% threshold in 2019, thanks largely to social media’s influence. Since then, the share of CTV digital display ad spending shifting into programmatic channels has increased dramatically as advertisers continue to shed the burden of insertion orders in favor of automated purchasing avenues.

Programmatic display advertising with video 

2022 marks the first year that video will surpass non-video formats in programmatic ad spending. CTV is the primary driver behind that shift. Without CTV, video would account for just 39.7% of programmatic digital display ad spending. Programmatic CTV will sustain its double-digit ad spending growth next year as well.

Most programmatic video ad spending goes to mobile—65.2% in 2022. Ad spending against non-video formats on mobile will still account for more than half of mobile programmatic display ad spending through 2023. However, given recent growth of social video advertising and increasing interest in TikTok among advertisers, it’s likely that video will continue to gain share of mobile programmatic display.

Programmatic advertising forecast

Retail media networks are set to become the third big wave of digital advertising. In programmatic, this means more ad supply that is close to the point of purchase with the added benefit of consumer data.

Dozens of retail media networks have launched over the past few years, with virtually every leading digital marketplace, mass merchandiser, national grocery chain, category-specific retailer, and delivery provider getting into the game.