Premium Programmatic Ad Buying on the Rise

Programmatic media buying was one of the big trends in 2013. Whether it was real-​time bidding (RTB) on remnants or a more personal touch promoting premium ad space, digital content multiethniccomputerscreenproviders were busy applying technology-​driven enhancements to the process of selling their space. Where will this trend be headed in 2014? Tyler Loechner at MediaPost’s RTBlog does a nice job of compiling predictions from several industry experts.

Some experts, like Alex White at DG, believe publishers will shift the way they’ve been selling premium digital space. Until now, private exchanges have allowed publishers to sell inventory directly to a marketer, often with the help of an agency. There may be more automation coming to this process, but only to the extent that publishers are allowed to protect the higher profit margin for their most valuable inventory. Mike Kisseberth at TechMedia Network also believes publishers will emphasize their premium inventory. Marketers will be especially interested in buying this coveted space for their mobile and video messages. Because the buying process can be complex, media salespeople may be able to add more value in the premium space, at least for now.

The growth of programmatic ad buying, along with Big Data, will impact other industries as well. Ammiel Kamon at Kontera  predicts that the demand for traditional marketing focus groups will continue to shrink.

As marketers grow more comfortable with programmatic  buying, they’ll increase their focus on the other details that matter to them. Brett Wilson, TubeMogul, says it will be all about viewability and mobile video.

As the buzz about RTB increases, providers of digital ad space may be well advised to hold back more inventory and attempt to sell directly to marketers or their agencies to avoid the race to bottom that occurs in the remnant market. If you're a publisher, how much of your space is allocated for premium rates?


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.