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Programmatic spend continues to surge in 2018

August 29, 2018 | By Todd Krizelman, CEO—MediaRadar @ToddKrizelman

It’s predicted that more than $46 billion in ad dollars will be spent on programmatic advertising in the United States this year, with 86.2% of all digital display ads bought programmatically by 2020. But who is spending the most on programmatic? MediaRadar dove in to find the answers. By analyzing thousands of brands, with ads placed programmatically in Q1 of 2018, we discovered which companies are spending more, which are spending top dollar, plus so much more.

75% of all brands running ads online buy programmatically

A whopping three quarters of brands studied had purchased some form of an ad programmatically in Q1 of 2018. Findings such as these prove that, despite transparency concerns, advertisers are continuing to invest in programmatic.

Even more compelling is that, in the wake of major brand safety controversies (e.g. YouTube’s controversial content woes), advertisers are still purchasing programmatic video. In fact, the number of brands running programmatic video have nearly doubled compared to the previous year.

Amazon leads the way in programmatic ad buys

Big brands are buying programmatically and Amazon is leading the space. Amazon was found to be the biggest programmatic spender by far. The online retailer alone accounted for 10% of the total spend of the top-50 programmatic advertisers in Q1 of 2018, spending one and a half times more than the next biggest programmatic spender, Microsoft.

In order of high to low, the top-10 programmatic advertisers in Q1 of 2018 were:
  1. Amazon
  2. Microsoft
  3. Wayfair
  4. TaxAct
  5. Charles Schwab
  6. Weight Watchers
  7. Sprint
  8. Coors Light
  9. Geico
  10. Dell

Amazon has always been a big spender when it comes to marketing efforts. In 2016  it was reported that Amazon spent more on advertising than Walmart Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc., The Home Depot Inc., and The Kroger Company combined. A large portion of that ad budget was dedicated to programmatic too.

The players remain the same

An impressive 94% of the top-50 programmatic spenders in Q1 of 2017 ended up buying programmatically again in Q1 of this year. The list of companies that renewed include Walmart, Microsoft, and Verizon Wireless.

Despite escalating talk about brand safety, the programmatic market has remained mostly stable, year-over-year. Significant changes in the form of exits or reduced spending have been few and far between. Not to mention, the implementation of safeguard tech like whitelist and blacklist technologies have shown brands that programmatic is actively changing for the better; becoming more brand safe and transparent with every update.

The bottomline is that most advertisers prefer programmatic for transacting online media and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. No matter the controversy, brands appear to value the rewards of programmatic more than they fear the repercussions. Amazon’s increasingly large investments in programmatic are a testament to its popularity and power in the advertising market.


About the Author

Todd Krizelman (@ToddKrizelman ) is Co-Founder and CEO of MediaRadar (@MediaRadar). Growing up near the epicenter of technological innovation in Palo Alto, California encouraged him to become an entrepreneur and co-found of one of the world’s first social media sites, theGlobe.com. Krizelman also held leadership positions at Bertelsmann’s Gruner + Jahr and Random House. With his expertise in ad sales and innovation, Krizelman joined veteran web architect, Jesse Keller, to found MediaRadar in 2007.

 

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