Premium Programmatic Will Rise As Cookies Crumble, Data From FatTail Suggests


Premium Programmatic Will Rise As Cookies Crumble, Data From FatTail Suggests




by  @lauriesullivan, April 28, 2021

Enterprise ad-tech company FatTail on Wednesday released data detailing the potential growth of premium programmatic deals and inventory.


FatTail conducted the study with Beeler.Tech, which focuses on connecting people, and CoLab Media Consulting, a consulting and marketing research business during Q3 2020, collecting data from more than 95 global publishers with a combined revenue of $10 billion in 2019.


The team surveyed senior revenue and ad operations professionals at publishers to gain an understanding of their thoughts on industry trends and spending forecasts for 2021. 


Publishers are betting on the rise of automated deals that offer the scale and benefits of RTB-based, open-auction transactions, but include the same level of granularity and control that both buyers and sellers can get from direct sales. 


For example, some 66% of publishers surveyed expected growth in terms of programmatic guaranteed over the next 12 months — and as the industry works to collectively move beyond third-party cookie-based targeting, FatTail expects this shift to accelerate. 


“An overwhelming majority” of publishers said they would increase the amount spent in the areas of Programmatic Guaranteed, PMPs and Preferred Deals, but these strategies are not without their challenges, according to the report.


There are three major overall challenges with adoption of programmatic guarantees.



  • 45% said workflows are not fully automated with offline media planning, sales rules, approvals, and advertiser negotiations.
  • 42% cited the lack of transparency into bid and audience-targeting data.
  • 38% said the biggest challenge with adoption of programmatic guarantees includes disconnected ad tech, decentralized revenue reporting, and forecasting.

Survey highlights also include: 



  • On average, direct-sold inventory accounts for 39% of publisher revenue, with programmatic accounting for 28% of overall publisher revenue
  • 66% expect growth in terms of programmatic guaranteed 
  • 60% forecast growth in preferred deals and private marketplaces
  • 18% thought the volume of indirect inventory sold via RTB and/or the open market would shrink over the next 12 months 
  • 58% of publishers said advertiser demand would be driving these shifts toward more premium programmatic transactions 

The future deprecation of third-party cookies will intensify demand as advertisers look for safe alternatives to targeting audiences through the open market.


While it may be too soon to see an immediate shift in dollars, publishers and buyers that look ahead believe premium programmatic deals will take on a greater significance in the coming months. 

The survey also asked publishers to describe the challenges faced in terms of adopting programmatic guaranteed. The top answers focused on a need for a more automated workflow, greater transparency into bid and audience targeting data, and more centralized ad-tech solutions for reporting and forecasting. 

MediaPost.com: Search & Performance Marketing Daily

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