Opinion: Programmatic advertising in Australia is closing gap on US

Cindy Deng
By Cindy Deng | 7 July 2014
Cindy Deng, Turn.

The nimble nature of the Australian market opens the door to more experimentation in the media landscape. Programmatic, as the relatively new kid on the block, is pushing the frontiers of innovation.

In Australia and globally the market for programmatic advertising is constantly evolving and the latest edition of the Turn Advertising Intelligence Index (TAII) reveals that competition in programmatic continues to sizzle across all media channels and regions.

Competition in programmatic continues to heat up on all channels – display, mobile, social and video. Spending is up but less volatile, indicating better planning on the part of marketers.  The newer channels – mobile, social and video – are converging toward trends seen in display, the most mature programmatic market.

Australia is at the forefront of the APAC markets, and as the broader region continues to embrace programmatic, Australia continues to trend as the most mature advertising market.

As more and more marketers consider how programmatic can and should shape their digital strategy, we expect to see the gap in programmatic adoption between Australia and the U.S. and EMEA markets shrink.

As local markets mature we will see these global trends come into even stronger focus:

Programmatic across all channels is getting even more competitive

Programmatic advertising continues to gain traction on all channels. Even display advertising, which already flows healthily through automated exchanges, is enjoying a steady rate of growth, with a global 20 percent increase in programmatic spending on display in the first four months of 2014. Spending on social advertising was up 20 percent as well, and video and mobile saw 65 percent and 109 percent bumps, respectively.

Marketers are getting better at media planning with programmatic

As marketers fully embrace programmatic, they are planning their strategies in advance and their spend is smoothing much more evenly. Whereas a year ago, the line tracking spending was quite bumpy – demonstrating experimentation, testing and campaign-style bursts – this year that line has smoothed out considerably. We’re not seeing the end-of-quarter budget dumping or large month-to-month variation in spending we did last year.

This indicates that media planning has become more strategic and data-driven than it was a year back. This is excellent news, validating the efficacy and effectiveness of using audience insights to drive data-informed marketing. This is particularly noticeable in mature industries, such as financial services and travel, with agencies and clients that capture tremendous amounts of programmatic and data spend and serve as models for the maturing planning of the entire marketplace.

Trends in media spend are aligning across all formats

As the most mature of the programmatic markets, display has maintained the highest level of competitiveness and the highest spending in programmatic. Mobile, social, and video are catching up. Spend is up and less volatile on every channel, though the rate of change varies by industry and region. 

But in general, if you want to see where programmatic is headed, look at the market for display in the US. As the competition for programmatic inventory picks up across the board, we expect to see the Australian market accelerate the speed of adoption to close that market gap.

Cindy Deng,
Managing director
Turn, Asia Pacific.

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