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Programmatic ad spend is growing, but it’s coming largely from one place: video.
Yes, the pivot to video is happening. More than 96% of programmatic ad spending growth will stem from video this year, according to research from Insider Intelligence.
The shudder-inducing phrase—which, amazingly, has its own Wikipedia entry—became media vernacular around 2015, when newsrooms adopted strategies to make ad revenue from video traffic generated by companies like Facebook. Video content would be rewarded, the platforms said. Turns out, Facebook was overstating how much time people spent watching video ads. Then, layoffs followed.
Years later, largely juiced by a pandemic-induced rush to streaming, advertisers are now chasing video inventory, neglecting the “bread and butter” of banner and display ads many publishers rely on, Max Willens, a senior analyst at Insider Intelligence, wrote in a post on LinkedIn.
How serious is it? Between 2021 and 2025, programmatic display ad spend is projected to grow from $60 billion to $72 billion, while spend on programmatic video inventory will grow from $55 billion to $97 billion.
“As bad as it is, it almost undersells how bad it is if you’re a web publisher,” Willens told Marketing Brew, pointing out that some display dollars are also going to the ever-growing retail media network category. “A not insignificant and fast-growing portion of that non-video display is going to retail media. If you’re in web publishing, your prospects of even getting crumbs off of that pie are not great.”
Publishers with access to a “very influential audience” (see: New York Times, Bloomberg) will probably be fine, Willens said. But, “if you’re a website that doesn’t have a direct sales team and you make your money by making every impression available via 16 different SSPs, [publishers] like this are going to feel this most intensely.”