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The Top Industries Buying Programmatic Ads

The Top Industries Buying Programmatic Ads

Programmatic advertising is a big business that is only getting bigger. 

With entertainment of all shapes and sizes moving to the Internet, programmatic advertising will become a popular — and cost-effective — means of reaching audiences everywhere. 

eMarketer reports that nearly 90 percent of US digital ads will be placed programmatically in 2021. The report indicates that this will initially be driven by mobile growth, but by the end of 2021 “mobile’s growth rate will dip below the broader programmatic average as ad buyers ramp up investments in areas such as connected TV.” With the ViacomCBS merger just announced, this seems more plausible than ever. 

But what are the top industries buying programmatic ads now? MediaRadar found that just four industries account for over half (54 percent) of all dollars spent on programmatic ads. 

Tech — 15 percent

Unsurprisingly, the top programmatic spend came from the tech industry. The top programmatic buyers in this space include AT&T, Verizon and Microsoft

AT&T, for example, is not investing in any premium ad units, instead advertising on over 250 media properties — a good portion of which could have been placed programmatically. 

Media/Entertainment — 14 percent

Media and entertainment came in a close second with just over a quarter of programmatic ad spend. The top buyers in this industry include National Amusements, Disney, and Comcast

Since National Amusements is the majority stakeholder in both Viacom and CBS, this top spot will likely stand for the coming year. MTV (owned by Viacom) ran ads on Snapchat, while the new Dora the Explorer movie (from Nickelodeon and distributed by Paramount, both owned by Viacom) ran tons of display ads on top of the TV premium units. 

Finance/Real Estate — 14 percent

The finance and real estate industry tied entertainment with 14 percent of programmatic ad spend in 2019. Some of the top buyers include LendingTree, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo placed video ads on Snapchat and YouTube, both of which place ads programmatically. Seeing LendingTree in the list is remarkable, since the dot-com old guard member only recently updated its approach to branding and marketing. 

Retail — 11 percent

Retail took the fourth spot by accounting for just over a tenth of programmatic advertising spend in the first half of 2019. The top buyers list includes the usual suspects: Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy

Walmart has spent several years growing its advertising acumen, it sights set squarely on keeping up with the likes of Amazon.