Zenith: Programmatic is now 55% of digital advertising spend in Australia

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 25 November 2019

More than half (55%) of all digital media was traded programmatically in Australia in 2019, according to analysis by Zenith.

The Publicis-owned agency expects this growth to continue into 2020 with video a driver as more inventory is made programmatically available across growing channels such Connected TV.

This will mean direct buys will reduce as a share of the whole as economic and marketing cost pressures continue.

Joshua Lee, head of digital, Zenith Melbourne, says the main driver of programmatic uptake in the future will be the rollout of 5G.

“As online user experience improves, the availability and range of formats will emerge, pushing up programmatic adoption,” he says.

“As programmatic continues to develop beyond online display ads to channels like DOOH, audio, Connected TV, and more, media buyers will get a holistic life cycle view of the user which is key to delivering fewer ads that are more effective.”

Although programmatic adspend continues to grow at double-digit rates, it is being hindered as the industry struggles with privacy and supply-chain challenges, says Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting. 

“Once these challenges have been addressed, programmatic marketing has the potential to accelerate again during the next decade,” he says. 

Zenith’s global forecasts show programmatic adspend will exceed US$100 billion for the first time this year.

Next year, 69% of digital media will be programmatic, say Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts 2019

Expansion of programmatic adspend is slowing, falling from 35% in 2018 to 22% in 2019, and forecast at 19% in 2020 and 16% in 2021.

Zenoth says the programmatic industry faces challenges that need resolution before marketers, publishers and consumers realise its true potential.

Brands need to develop new targeting techniques using first-party data and customer data platforms.

“The ongoing death of the cookie means that the industry needs to rethink the way we design targeting and personalisation while respecting consumers’ privacy rights,” says Matt James, Zenith’s Global Brand President.

“High-quality, first-party data is more vital to the success of programmatic marketing than ever before.”

Zenith says there are too many ad tech entities that sit on the supply path between publishers and brands, charging fees, and providing unknown value due to their lack of transparency.

“Brands and buyers should review every platform they contract with, to ensure they contribute to campaign goals transparently and effectively,” says Benoit Cacheux, global Chief digital officer at Zenith.

“They should end their relationship with platforms that do not.” 



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