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Is a Native Ad Spend Upswing Responsible for a Dip in US Programmatic Spend?

Is a Native Ad Spend Upswing Responsible for a Dip in US Programmatic Spend?


Are US advertisers opting for native over programmatic?

Programmatic has seen a 12% drop in ad spend in the US this year; at the same time, there’s been a 74% surge in native advertising.

That’s according to a new report by MediaRadar tracking thousands of advertisers and ad buys, which claims that while there isn’t necessarily a “one-to-one correlation”, there is a relationship between the two trends.

The report casts doubt on what was predicted to be a win-big year for programmatic in the states. Emarketer forecasted that “four in every five” digital display dollars would be transacted on programmatic marketplaces, while MediaRadar suggests that growing brand safety concerns and the “black-box” nature of placements is increasingly turning advertisers away.

The 74% rise in native ad buying, that took place from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, “represents the largest growth in buyers for any ad format,” according to the researcher, driven by a combination of native ad performance and better transparency.

Since January 2015, native advertising growth has tripled, according to the report.

Combining the two

Despite MediaRadar’s suggestion that the two forms of advertising are mutually exclusive, however, other sources cite that native’s high adoption and continued scale will lead, perhaps paradoxically, to a growing need for automated buying.

In fact, this has already been in progress for several years, with the IAB’s OpenRTB protocol making programmatic native advertising a priority to standardise in 2015.

"If this is the reality as the study says, I believe it’s a temporary development," says Martina Serwene, head of corporate communication at YOC.

"Programmatic Advertising is adapting and will easily be able to display the 'native effect' automatically in the foreseeable future. I believe that eventually everything will be done programmatically."

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on PerformanceIN as the company's Head of Content, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions.

Going by the ethos that there is no 'jack-of-all-trades' in performance marketing, only experts within their field, Mark’s day-to-day aim is to provide an engaging platform for members to learn and question one another, helping to push the industry forward as a result.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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