Display is also taking a hit as spending for digital gets more diffuse. Money that used to be allocated for banner ads is moving to social, mobile and video. In a glass-half-full view, Zenith says display advertising will become the focus of more customized and "premium" branding campaigns. That will at least slow the decline of CPMs in the face of challenges from those other subset digital ad segments. In the best-case scenario, as cheaper direct-response dollars head to RTB, tailored display ads could actually see a boost in prices.
CPMs in general will also likely rise thanks to increased use of viewability and other measurements that tell advertisers whether or not ads were seen and "engaged with" by targeted consumers. Overall, Zenith predicts CPMs will rise roughly 5% by 2017.
Premium video: Zenith cites eMarketer stats that suggest average prices for "premium" placements went for about $10.40 for general display this year, while mobile premium was relatively close behind at $9.30. Still, for the best inventory, video CPMs were practically through the roof at $32.80.
Even the average CPM for video is pretty high at $24.60, especially when compared to mobile prices ($3.00) and general display ($1.90).
Programmatic forecast: Programmatic ad sales will hit $12 billion worldwide by the close of 2013, according to Magna's report, which counts both RTB and other forms of automation in its survey (paid search is excluded). About $7.4 billion in programmatic dollars will come from the US.
As with other fast-rising areas of the ad market, programmatic is still small. But to get a sense of how swiftly that's changing, Magna is calling for worldwide programmatic expenditures to jump to $32 billion by 2017. By that point, programmatic in the US will command $17 billion annually, with $10.5 billion devoted to RTB.
"The US will remain the most developed programmatic market globally, with 80% of display-related spend being transacted in a programmatic fashion (either RTB or non-RTB) by 2017," Magna says.
Outside the US, the adoption of programmatic will be slower, but the penetration will be felt in countries such as the Netherlands, where 60% of display sales will be automated, followed by the UK (59%), France (56%) and Australia (52%).
Global growth: Magna also released its summary for 2013 to 2014 and is similarly upbeat.
Zenith forecasts total worldwide ad spending rising from 3.6% in 2013 to 5.3% next year, with future gains shooting up to 5.8% through 2016.
WPP's pessimism: In comparison, Magna is expecting a 3.2% increase in 2013 spending to $489.6 billion. As the residual economic weakness from the global recession finally appears to ebb, worldwide ad dollars will grow by 6.5% – Magna projected 6.1% gains last summer – in 2014.
Meanwhile, WPP's GroupM is staking out the relatively pessimism position among the ad holding companies. GroupM says global ad spending will rise a decent 4.6% next year, with the US seeing a meager 2.9% gain.
“Ad spending in 2014 will enjoy a slight bump thanks to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, with spending coming mostly from existing budgets,” said GroupM Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni in a statement. “But overall we estimate only marginal US growth on a comparable component basis.”
GroupM expects digital to make up 19% of the total ad spend this year (it's calling for $97 billion in expenditures) and 21% in 2014 ($110 billion), with respective growth rates of 15% and 14%.