Feb 6 2020
Anthony Loredo

Ask the Expert: What's the Programmatic Forecast for 2020?


‘Ask the Expert’ is a series that breaks down the tools, tech, and trends you’ve been hearing about in the trade pubs and around the office. We ask our in-house experts the tough questions and write up the answers in bite-sized pieces for your reading pleasure.

This month’s topic? Programmatic advertising expectations for 2020. We brought in Centro’s SVP of Product Management, Hiten Mistry, to give us the breakdown.

What will drive programmatic spending to grow in 2020?

Currently, CTV and audio are driving private marketplace spending. Audio buying via programmatic channels is fairly new, but we’re continually seeing growth in audio supply from our internal data. CTV has also experienced over 3x growth from our 2018 numbers.

In terms of advertisers, the effect of more ad budgets from segments like politics and cannabis will be good for programmatic channels. Ad sellers willing to accept advertising from these areas are well-positioned for 2020. Here in the U.S., we’re predicting that Cannabis spending will be long lasting with lots of room for growth.

What factors will affect programmatic video in 2020? 

The interest in CTV and addressable TV will be the drivers of growth this year. As improvements in programmatic pipelines make it easier to activate campaigns, we expect to see budgets shifting fast to these channels and tactics. Market education and support will be a major factor in how much is spent on programmatic video.

Another important factor is mobile video. We’re going to see more adoption of 5G networks on the major carriers, and this will drive video content consumption. Naturally, that will open more opportunities for programmatic video advertising on mobile devices.

What other factors will influence programmatic in 2020? 

The market is moving towards more automation in bid optimization for first-price auctions. The algorithms in DSPs are constantly learning more about the optimal bids for a first-price auction world. Advertisers will have to rely on these types of optimization tools to automate programmatic advertising.

Generally, we expect to see automated programmatic buying in all forms (DSP, social, etc.) alongside automated buying via direct, search, and others. By “others,” I’m referring to the automation of set-up, management and reporting of campaigns. This is especially needed with the increased complexity of digital media, plus the individual nuances of vendors’ programmatic platforms (DSPs, SSPs, publishers).

I also expect Digital Out-of-Home (OOH) to make a leap. There is more work to be done to create infrastructures that support the supply, but there’s certainly interest from buyers to access audiences on this channel via DSPs.

Are you interested in learning how Centro can boost your programmatic advertising capabilities in 2020? Learn more about Programmatic Advertising with Centro.