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Study: Amazon led Q1 programmatic ad spend with a 10% share

Study: Amazon led Q1 programmatic ad spend with a 10% share

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By Erica Sweeney

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon is the biggest spender of programmatic advertising, alone accounting for 10% of the spend of the top 50 programmatic advertisers in Q1 2018, according to an analysis by advertising intelligence and sales platform MediaRadar provided to Marketing Dive. Amazon spent 1.5x more than Microsoft, the next-biggest spender.
  • Following Amazon and Microsoft, the top 10 programmatic advertisers for the quarter by spend, in order, are Wayfair, TaxAct, Charles Schwab, Weight Watchers, Sprint, Coors Light, Geico and Dell. Of the top 50 programmatic spenders in Q1 2017, 94% had programmatic placements in Q1 2018, including Walmart, Microsoft and Verizon.
  • The analysis also revealed that 75% of all brands tracked placed digital ads programmatically in Q1 2018. Also, 42% placed native ads programmatically, a 10% increase year-over-year.

Dive Insight:

Marketers continue to invest in programmatic advertising, despite concerns over transparency and the lack of control over where their ads appear. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of all digital display ads will be programmatic, reaching $84.9 billion, according to a forecast by Publicis Groupe Zenith. As marketing becomes increasingly data-centric, marketers are attracted by the automation and efficiency of programmatic campaigns, and the MediaRadar analysis reveals that programmatic is becoming the purchasing method of choice for most marketers.

Amazon has long been a top choice for online shoppers, with more than half of consumers beginning their product searches on Amazon, so it’s not surprising that the e-commerce giant leads in programmatic spending, a strategy that can help it efficiently reach a large number of online consumers. The platform continues to dominate in advertising around key shopping holidays. For example, Amazon led in digital advertising around Father’s Day, earning 6 billion impressions, according to a BIScience analysis. More than 80% of the ads were desktop display.

The MediaRadar analysis also shows that more marketers are using programmatic to streamline their native ad buys to overcome the in-depth sales process. Native ad spending is expected to account for 58.3% of the digital display market, reaching $32.9 billion, according to eMarketer projections. While the forecast was $4 billion higher than previous estimates, it points to an overall slowing down. Native advertising grew 63.7% in 2016 and 50.1% in 2017, but is forecast to increase only 31% in 2018.

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