Direct Hit: A Decade of Programmatic Direct Growth And Its Potential Moving Forward

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A recent breakdown from Insider Intelligence has programmatic direct remaining the most popular transaction method as we continue tiptoeing toward a cookieless future.

More importantly, it spells out just how far the open exchange has fallen, with potentially less than a 10% market share by year’s end.

“Open auctions are out of vogue,” Insider Intelligence says, pointing to how it had represented nearly 75% of the programmatic display market when it began forecasting more than a decade ago in 2013.

(Source: Insider Intelligence)

”But since then, advertisers have invested more heavily in private marketplaces and closed ecosystems like social media platforms and retail media networks (RMNs), which fall under programmatic direct,” Insider Intelligence says, highlighting programmatic digital display ad spending that will exceed $157 billion in the United States this year.

Insider Intelligence’s larger programmatic forecast takes into account recent Interactive Advertising Bureau numbers that show six in 10 buyers would be focusing (somewhat or significantly) more on ad placements with publishers who used first-party data in 2024. 

“As signal loss reaches a fever pitch with cookie deprecation, ad buyers and sellers are harnessing their own consumer data for programmatic activation across transaction methods,” Insider Intelligence says.


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