Why programmatic is on the up – UK Innovation Summit

07/25 By IAS Insider

It’s a subject that has had its ups and downs – so what better topic to tackle at our recent IAS UK Innovation Summit? We took to the stage earlier this year with Omnicom Media Group Programmatic, Shpock and AppNexus (a Xandr company)to discuss the meteoric rise of programmatic. 



Over the past year, programmatic technology has undergone a further evolution, both in its functionality but also in its perception. The Innovation Summit panel of programmatic experts from every corner of the ad ecosystem  discussed the challenges, opportunities and shared learnings about the latest advancements. The resounding message was that programmatic is growing up, in all the right ways. 

Clementina Piazza, Programmatic Director at IAS, set the scene by highlighting how, whilst some data may seem to reflect direct buys as under performing, it is in fact evolving. The panel of programmatic professionals discussed the top three reasons why this might be:

  1. A buying shift: desktop viewability rates in UK programmatic buys are now higher than direct buys, but this may be down to a major shift in the way the industry is transacting on media. The panel agreed that the growth of viewability rates in programmatic was in part due to now being able to transact via guaranteed buys alongside non guaranteed buys, plus, having better frequency management. They discussed how this can result in incremental reach for clients and technology partners.
  2. Growth of video: brands are now seeing increased effectiveness of video content and consequently, creating greater volume of video content, particularly homepage takeover video formats. Consequently, the panel highlighted, there is much more inventory available that is of a higher quality. The panellists discussed how the quality of programmatic inventory is now comparable to that for direct buys, and they saw this particularly with programmatic video campaigns
  3. Increased attention to measurement: The panel were delighted to hear that discussions about measurement of programmatic, including viewability, are now being brought to the attention of the C-suite – something never expected five years ago. The panellists happily concluded, that today, the message that programmatic is effective and measurable is getting through. The result? Programmatic is becoming the place for brands to be.

Programmatic is enabling a better sync between those that supply inventory and those that want to buy. The progress we have seen in programmatic means that this automated buying method is becoming the de facto for brands and publishers. Whilst it has had its criticism, programmatic is now certainly on the up. It’s seen as the apex of digital advertising which we can all look forward to seeing how it next evolves. 


To find out more about IAS’s programmatic offering, please head to our website.