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Programmatic’s share of global digital display spending has increased considerably over the past 7 years, and that share is only expected to increase in the next couple of years to come. That said, as the programmatic market matures, a new report [purchase page] from Zenith shows that spending is slowing, with year-over-year growth decreasing from 35% in 2018 to 22% in 2019.

Nonetheless, programmatic’s ascent has been rapid. In 2012, only 10.4% of global digital display spend was transacted programmatically. In 2019, that share has ballooned to 65.3%. Zenith forecasts that programmatic’s share of digital display dollars will grow to 69.2% this coming year and 72% in 2021.

And how does that translate into dollars? Seven years ago, when total global digital display ad spend was $37.8 billion, the programmatic display market stood at $3.9 billion. Today, digital display ad spend will total $162.3 billion, $106.0 billion of which will have been invested in programmatic. Fast forward to 2021, and total global display spending is expected to reach $204.4 billion, with $147.1 billion going towards programmatic.

The US accounts for about half of the total global display ad spend this year, at $81.7 billion. Programmatic accounts for 82.4% of this, reaching $67.3 billion this year. By 2021, programmatic is expected to account for 85.8% digital display spend in the US.

Social Networks Expected to See A Greater Share of Programmatic

A recent forecast from eMarketer predicts a similar, if not slightly more optimistic, trend in the growth of programmatic’s percentage share of total digital display ad spend in the US. The forecast from October 2019 estimates that programmatic digital display ad spend in 2019 will account for 83.5% of total US digital display spend this year and 86.5% by 2021.

Separate research from Adelphic found that a majority (70%) of US programmatic traders believe that investment in digital video inventory will increase. eMarketer reports that with advertisers prioritizing social video as well as other social network ad formats, they expect to see social networks accounting for a larger share of programmatic digital display ad spend. This year, social networks are expected to account for 56.3% of programmatic digital display spend, while, by 2021, they are expected to account for 57.6% share.

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