Data from eMarketer reveals programmatic ad spending is predicted to increase by more than 33% to reach RMB208.55bn ($30.86bn) in 2019.
The increased spending is putting pressure on China’s BAT companies: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, which collectively control about 80% of programmatic ad spend in China. The big three’s dominance is expected to decline over the next few years as other digital companies build out their own services and boost their prominence in the market.
Shelleen Shum, forecasting director, eMarketer, said, “Not only is the sell side becoming more dynamic, advertisers in China are growing more receptive to programmatic ad buying, as they are more educated about the process and see the benefits of using audience data for ad targeting. Furthermore, the establishment of brand safety and viewability standards will improve trust among ad buyers and sellers.”
The recent boom in video advertising, which is expected to overtake TV ad spend by 2021, has helped propel growth in programmatic. eMarketer said short-form video, such as the hugely popular Douyin (TikTok) app, has been a major driver of overall programmatic spending in China.
Programmatic is expected to account for half of all video ad spend in China in 2019 which will equate to RMB44.64 bn ($6.60bn).
“Having built up their own programmatic video trading platforms in recent years, large video players such as Tencent Video, iQiyi and Youku Tudou are propelling programmatic video ad spending in China,” Shum said.
“Newsfeed apps and short-form video apps like Toutiao and Douyin, which have more user-generated content, are in the earlier stages of commercialization. However, they are expected to contribute strongly to programmatic video growth in the coming years.”