How big is programmatic buying? Advertising intelligence company MediaRadar has crunched the numbers and found that 75 percent of all the brands it tracked placed digital ads programmatically in Q1. While many have concerns over transparency and ad fraud, MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman notes that programmatic is the preferred buying method for many brands—and he doesn’t see that changing.
“Our data shows that, despite the many brand safety controversies, advertisers are spending significantly with programmatic online video. The number of brands running programmatic video has nearly doubled year-over-year,” Krizelman says. “At this point, it appears the benefits are outweighing the risks for this type of ad buying.”
MediaRadar tallied which brands spent the most on programmatic buys. Not only does Amazon top the list, but it counted for 10 percent of all Q1 2018 spending by the top 50 programmatic advertisers. Amazon spends 1.5x more programmatically than the second place company—Microsoft.
Following Amazon and Microsoft, the rest of the top 10 are Wayfair, TaxAct, Charles Schwab, Weight Watchers, Sprint, Coors Light, Geico, and Dell.
What the list shows is that big brands have enthusiastically adopted programmatic buying. When looking at year-over-year data, MediaRadar finds that 94 percent of the top 50 programmatic spenders in Q1 2017 were still buying programmatically in Q1 2018. The top 50 includes major brands such as Walmart, Microsoft, and Verizon.
Part of programmatic’s popularity is due to the rise in programmatic native ads, which combine the best of both worlds: Native ads fit in with publisher content, so programmatic native uses automation and programmatic rules to place relevant native ads at scale. In Q1 2018, 42 percent of all brands that ran native ads used native programmatic buys. That’s a 10 percent increase from the previous year.
Native ads used to be hindered by problems of scale and an intensive sales process, Krizelman notes. But programmatic buying solves those issue.