Brands continue to adopt programmatic ad buying, even as the majority of spending is consolidated among a few top advertisers. The overall number of brands participating in RTB grew by 69 percent between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013, according to a new report.
The latest Index Quarterly Report by Casale Media, which aggregates data from the billions of impressions traded each quarter across marketplaces powered by Index, highlights how heavily global/national brands dominate programmatic, with over 70 percent share through the entire first half of 2013. That’s up slightly from the 68 percent share global/national brands claimed over the second half of 2012.
The top ten ad spending sectors in Q2 now account for 90 percent of all programmatic spending. In order, they are Business, Travel, Media, Telecom, Financial, Automotive, Education, Food & Drink, Retail and Healthcare. Furthermore, the top five sectors account for just over three quarters of all spending throughout the first half of 2013. Telecom and Automotive brands were heavily represented within the top ten spenders in both Q1 and Q2.
“We’re seeing leading brands’ programmatic tests turn very quickly into a full commitment to RTB, much to the delight of many in the digital publishing space,” said Andrew Casale, VP of strategy for Casale Media. “The programmatic market is being shaped by just a handful of major brands in key verticals that are fully committed to RTB. Typical audiences for a given vertical may not necessarily be as available or effective when heavy spending brands outside the vertical begin to snap up that in demand inventory. Automotive brands will pay top dollar for ‘auto purchase intenders,’ forcing retail, telecom and travel advertisers to pay more to reach these targets”
AT&T held the top spot in programmatic spending throughout the entire first half of 2013. General Motors, Toyota, Sprint, Ford and Verizon also made the top ten in both quarters.
Table: Top 10 Parent Brands by Market Share, Q1 & Q2 2013
Programmatic inventory is still extremely desktop-centric. The share of impressions originating from mobile Web (IAB standard impressions) was just 11 percent versus 89 percent from desktops. The big reason: Nearly 90% of impressions from desktop platforms were cookie enabled, while just over one third of mobile impressions were tied to cookies, according to the study.