Global programmatic spend grows to more than a quarter of digital media budgets

Global programmatic is set to account for 28% of digital media spend in 2017/18, rocketing up from 17% in the previous year in spite of growing concerns over brand safety, ad fraud and opaque media practices.

WFA: study shows that programmatic spend is on the up
WFA: study shows that programmatic spend is on the up

According to research from the World Federation of Advertisers, 87% of major multinational companies plan to boost their investment in mobile advertising and 68% plan to boost video spend, while 77% will spend more on new programmatic channels such as "advanced TV" and digital out-of-home.

The WFA’s study found that North America has the biggest appetite for programmatic, with 31% of digital budgets allocated to it in 2017/18. Those less keen on automated buying are Latin America and China, both of which are allotting it 20% of digital spend.

The research was collected in November and December last year in conjunction with software firm Dataxu. The findings are based on responses from 28 companies, who collectively spend more than $50bn on marketing.

While worries about brand safety, ad fraud and opacity were still on marketers' minds, the WFA study found that 45% of respondents believe they already had a fully transparent relationship with their programmatic partners. Another 41% said that increasing transparency with programmatic partners was a priority for 2018.

Data transparency is moving up the agenda; 62% of respondents said they are addressing "segment mark-ups" and "data arbitrage" as a major priority for 2018 – a massive increase on 2017’s 14%.

Meanwhile, the imminent arrival of GDPR meant that 83% of respondents viewed compliance as a priority for 2018, and just 10% said that they had not considered whether or not their programmatic was GDPR-compliant.

Matt Green, the WFA’s global lead, media and digital marketing, said: "In terms of its public relations with the wider marketing community, it’s fair to say that 2017 hasn’t been a great year for programmatic.

"But there’s too much momentum now, and in spite of the issues, clients do generally see the benefits – brands will spend a growing share of their digital ad budgets in programmatic in 2018. But that doesn’t mean they can’t take action to improve the ecosystem in which they operate."

Become a member of Campaign from just £51 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content