Other signs of programmatic maturity include the phasing out of legacy formats, notably desktop banner display (which constitutes 44% of all global programmatic buys but is projected to drop to 16% by 2020), and adoption of results-oriented campaign metrics.
Viewability and fraud issues – despite being talking points in the press – haven’t throttled programmatic spend.
“We expected to see more concerns over viewability or fraud, or for budgets to move to private marketplace transactions, but it seems like brands mostly brushed those concerns off,” Stillman said, pointing out that 2016 budgets outpaced Magna’s 2015 projections by a full point (a meaningful amount when accounting for tens of billions of dollars).
The programmatic boost in 2016 also came from big upward revisions for spending in China and Japan. For the Chinese market in particular, Stillman said, previously unrecorded revenue pools are becoming visible as more analyses and contacts are developed in the country.
China and Japan are also unique for their domestic tech and media environments.
“The big companies in US are the big companies in Europe, Australia, Canada and many other developed markets,” Stillman said. “But in China and Japan, we see the growth coming from their own SSPs, DSPs and ad tech environment.”
Stillman said Magna anticipates that in 2020 Japan and China will still feature their own ecosystems.