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Real-time bidding pushes display advertising to double-digit growth

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While global ad spending continues to grow at a modest rate, spending on online display ads—powered by real-time bidding—is showing double-digit growth. Global ad spending grew 2.8% in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to Nielsen Co.'s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report, released last month. Latin America showed the strongest growth, with ad spending up 13.1%, followed by Asia-Pacific (up 6.4%) and the Middle East and Africa (up 3.9%). Ad spending in North America rose 2.7%. Europe, which continues to suffer from economic instability, saw ad spending decline 6.0%. TV remains the dominant media platform in terms of share of total media spending, according to the Nielsen report. In the first half of the year, TV ad spending grew 4.2% from the year-earlier period, comprising 57.6% of total media expenditures. “TV ad dollars are showing no signs of slowing, and there are noteworthy increases in Internet ad spend,” Randall Beard, global head-advertiser solutions at Nielsen Co., said in the report. Internet display advertising, which accounted for 4.3% of all media expenditures, grew 26.6% in the first half, compared with the same period in 2012. Spending on outdoor ads increased 5.0% in the first half and made up 3.5% of total media spending. Newspaper ad spending declined 2.0%, accounting for 18.9% of total spending. Ad spending on magazines fell 1.9%, making up 10.0% of total spending. Other categories that saw ad spending declines in the first half were radio (down 0.9%) and cinema (down 5.9%). One of the drivers of Internet ad spending growth was programmatic buying, which is conducted through automated platforms including real-time bidding systems. According to a Magna Global report released last month, programmatic buying of online display ads will total more than $12.0 billion globally this year, up 60.0% over last year. Of this, $6.1 billion will be conducted through RTB systems. Global online display ad spending conducted through programmatic buying will reach $32.5 billion by 2017, according to Magna. In the U.S., programmatic buying of digital media inventory is projected to total $7.4 billion this year, up 56.0% over last year. Of that, $3.9 billion will be transacted through RTB systems. By 2017, programmatic buying of digital media in the U.S. will total more than $17.0 billion, of which approximately $10.5 billion will be conducted through RTB systems, Magna projected. “In the last 12 months, a number of trends and initiatives have emerged driving the acceptance and usage of programmatic techniques,” Magna said in the report. “RTB is being used for more premium formats, by more premium publishers and more extensively for branding campaigns.” One of the trends is the increase of ad inventory through social media, according to the report. “The launch of Facebook Exchange has instantly pumped an enormous amount of impressions into the programmatic ecosystem,” Magna said. “Increasingly, brands are unifying programmatic campaigns and cross-referencing campaign tracking data between display and video.” RTB-based programmatic buying will grow from 28.0% of display ad transactions this year to 52.0% by 2017, according to Magna.
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