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Programmatic will seize 70% of the UK digital display market in 2016

Automated real-time bidding has secured its position as the dominant process used to buy up digital media space and will, in the UK, account for 70 per cent of all display ad spending.

The UK will, according to an eMarketer study, remain the market leader in programmatic digital display ad spending, up 44 per cent from 2015 and with it expected to account for more than three quarters of all buys in 2017.

Programmatic direct (automated and instant) and real time bidding (slower and overseen by a salesperson) will account for £1.33bn each but by 2018 programmatic direct will account for 52 per cent of the programmatic total and £2.03bn.

Much of the programmatic buy will be funnelled through social media platforms according to eMarketer UK analyst Bill Fisher, who said: “However, outside of social, people are coming round to the greater degree of certainty offered by this way of trading. Even within the RTB total, private marketplaces—small, invitation-only auctions—are becoming increasingly prevalent as people seek more control over the programmatic trading function.”

Mobile will be the dominant screen with an estimated £1.99bn set to go into programmatic mobile inventory this year – around three quarters of the money going into display – set to rise to 82.1 per cent.

Fisher concluded: “The story here isn’t surprising, eyeballs have moved to mobile and ad spend has followed. All the while, programmatic has been around in the background, so it’s little wonder we’re seeing mobile programmatic taking off in such a big way.”

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