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Latin America and Asia are the international markets poised to move programmatic forward

Here's a look at how programmatic will evolve abroad.

We hear a lot about what the programmatic market looks like in the US, but what does it look like abroad? That was the conversation Thursday at The Drum’s Progammatic Punch event at Ad:Tech New York.

According to John Rogers, SVP of programmatic packaging and sales at Videology, in the US, programmatic is “chugging through,” but it is just starting to evolve in other markets where scale is ramping up.

That being said, standardization remains one of the biggest hurdles in programmatic overall, he added.

“The US is where we invented advertising. We’re light years ahead,” added Neal Sinno, general manager of North American operations at Playbuzz. However, he also noted markets in Europe and Latin America are growing.

For her part, Cara Sullivan, vice president of strategic demand management at Optimatic, noted the speed of adoption is driven in part by local regulation and “trust or lack thereof.”

However, these panelists agreed Latin America, Japan, South Korea and China are the international markets most likely to move the programmatic conversation forward.

Sinno noted Germany was behind for a long time and is a “cumbersome market” as opposed to the UK and Latin America. But, in the latter market, there is not as much demand.

Sullivan said China, too, is interesting because in part there are so many consumers with mobile devices.

“There are so many opportunities to get marketing messages in front of them,” she said. “That will be a market to watch, especially with programmatic video.”

And Rogers noted these newer markets are able to leverage learnings from the US.

“If broadcasters have content people want to watch, it will really drive the market forward,” he added.

Sullivan also noted viewability is a different conversation in markets outside the US and it remains to be seen whether programmatic will ramp abroad as it has in the US.

“In the US, viewability is part of the conversation every day,” Sinno said. “Publishers get it. They have to have viewable ads to make money. But if you look outside the US, you don’t hear that conversation as much.”

However, Sullivan said she works with buyers and, from her perspective, it can be hard to find strong inventory.

At the same time, Rogers said new units like outstream units can help publishers build scale and, what’s more, they are more interactive than display ads.

Sinno pointed to Buzzfeed as a good publisher example as it creates lots of content, which means it is creating lots of new inventory it can monetize.

He also said Snapchat is an interesting example because it is approaching TV networks and asking them to develop content tied to popular series and then selling ads against those unique episodes that are not available anywhere else.

Rogers’ advice to emerging publishers is to not sacrifice quality for scale in programmatic, while Sullivan said to be mindful of how they bring users to their sites outside of organic pathways.

“If I was going to start day one as a publisher, you have to think about what the plan is and how to do it,” SInno said. “You have to think about what you want that user experience to be.”

Sullivan, too, said she is seeing more publishers approach her saying they’re making a concerted effort to build around what their users want to see, but friction remains when it comes to units like outstream.

And Sinno said he’s setting a lot of publishers move away from long-form editorial to try to get higher engagement with other forms of content like video.

For more insights from Programmatic Punch, click here.