Programmatic Ad Spend Continues to Rise in the UK – with Mobile Leading the Way

Mobfox Team
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Where are programmatic advertisers spending their ad budgets this year? According to eMarketer’s latest report “UK Programmatic Advertising Forecast for 2016-2019: The Industry Gets Serious About Fraud and Brand Safety” there’s a huge surge in programmatic spending, especially mobile, in the UK. Here’s what you need to know.

As 2017 drew to a close, it was projected that mobile programmatic advertising would account for £2.6 billion in the UK – up significantly from £1.9 billion in 2016. Even more importantly, this trend is expected to continue rising to nearly £4 billion by 2019.

Programmatic graph emarketer

Mobile & Video Ad Spend Goes Up, Up, and Up

Despite programmatic spend on desktop starting to fall from £817.6 million in 2016 to £743.8 million in 2017, there’s been an increase in total spending – thanks to mobile programmatic advertising (jumping from £2.6 billion in 2016 to £3.3 billion in 2017), which is projected to account for 78% of all digital display advertising in 2017, and 87% by 2019. In addition to mobile spend, more UK advertisers have increased their video spend, which accounted for £956.1 million – 28.2% of all programmatic ad spend in the UK last year.

programmatic report emarketer table 2

The positive trends in spending on programmatic advertising include both real-time bidding (RBT) and programmatic direct within the UK market. Because social media ads are purchased primarily through programmatic direct, this transaction type is growing more quickly than RTB. But both direct and RBT are expected to see total spending rise in the future.

programmatic report uk table 3

Why Does Programmatic Continue to Grow?

As the spending on programmatic advertising is on the rise in the UK, so is the transparency that advertisers seek. With new viewability metrics and technological developments on the forefront of the industry’s mind, it is becoming increasingly easier for advertisers to ensure that their ads are being seen by their intended audience.

One of the most important changes here has been the growing use of ads.txt, a text file that enables a publisher to make a publicly available list of companies that are authorized to sell advertising space on the publisher’s website. A similar solution is predicted to soon be available for mobile apps, so keep your eyes open for great things for the in-app industry.

While the future of digital display advertising appears to rest in small, pocket-sized devices, programmatic ad spending can be expected to keep growing. So for any publisher interested in further monetizing their mobile app within the UK market, the future is looking bright!


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