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The Math Wizards Who Rule Murky World of Programmatic Ad Buying

The Math Wizards Who Rule Murky World of Programmatic Buying Digital Advertising Age


When Mr. Banilevi began his college studies in the fall of 2009, the job he holds today essentially did not exist. Back then, the advertising industry was just beginning to understand the benefits of automating the digital ad buying process, which, due to its sophisticated targeting options, requires more effort to execute than any other medium. Unlike TV, direct digital ad buys necessitate constant checks of inventory availability and an arduous trafficking process where operations teams often upload dozens of ads per campaign to a server with multiple levels of targeting criteria.

"If [automated] Ad Exchanges are widely adopted, it could revolutionize how online media is bought and sold," ad agency Razorfish said in its Digital Outlook report published in 2009. Six years later, that revolution is well underway.

In 2015, programmatic will account for $14.9 billion of the nearly $59 billion digital-advertising pie, according toeMarketer. That's up from $9.9 billion in 2014 and $4.2 billion in 2013.

Until recently, many questioned the value of programmatic advertising. Publishers saw it as a threat and buyers saw it as a source of dodgy, low-value inventory. But with those concerns dissipating and major brands, including American Express, saying that they intend to buy 100% of their digital programmatically, the practice is booming.

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25% of all online ads are bought programmatically?! Wow!

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