UK programmatic ad spend to reach £1.8bn this year

Author: CIMCOM

In the UK, spending on programmatic digital display advertising will reach 60% of all online display ads this year, according to figures published by eMarketer this month. From a tentative start, automated ad spend will reach £1.8 billion in 2015. Both publishers and marketers have embraced programmatic, as it becomes the primary mode for digital display ad trading this year. In 2016, programmatic share is forecast to rise further yet, reaching 70% of UK online display ad spending.

So what is programmatic?

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB):

“Programmatic - refers to ads bought and sold using automated systems and processes such as real-time bidding.” 


UK programmatic digital display advertising 2013-2016







Programmatic ad spend





Share of display ads






Understanding the numbers

These figures from eMarketer, September 2015, include digital display advertising:

  • Bought via an Application Program Interface (API), from publisher APIs to Real Time Bidding (RTB) technology.
  • That appears across different devices: desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.
  • Where ads include: banners, rich media, sponsorship, video and other ads.


Mobile share increasing

Mobile programmatic spend is increasing with 56% of all programmatic digital display advertising being spent on mobile compared to 44% on desktop/laptops this year.

When looking at mobile display ad spend in isolation, the proportion of display ads being traded programmatically is forecast to reach 68% by the end of the year.

These figures are advance highlights from the eMarketer report, ‘UK Programmatic Advertising Forecast: Automated Trading Dominates Digital Display Ad Spending.’