"The growth of ads bought using real-time bidding comes as more
advertisers familiarize themselves with complex automated buying
ecosystem, and seek to reach audiences through a more targeted, and
-- in some cases -- cost-effective process," said eMarketer in a
statement accompanying the revised forecast.
The news is less than reassuring for digital publishers. While
spending on online display ads is expected to increase by 19% this
year, RTB spending, according to eMarketer, is growing at over 70%.
The more rapid RTB growth means more money going to tech middlemen
rather than publisher pockets, a welcome development for the ad
tech industry but likely not for content creators.
Moreover, it means advertisers are investing more in
technologies that drive efficiency over premium ad placements.
In another unwelcome development for publishers, eMarketer's
revision occurred primarily due to an unexpected surge in mobile
spending. While some sellers of mobile inventory, such as Facebook
and Pandora, have figured out how to make money from mobile, the
majority of digital publishers are still trying to figure it out.
As a result, the revised numbers are likely to leave many wondering
why they can't crack the medium despite the increased dollars
Clark Fredricksen, an eMarketer vice president, said advertisers
were increasing their spending on more lucrative custom and
sponsored ads, but the growth of RTB far outpaced that increase.
For most publishers, Mr. Fredricksen said, the rise of both mobile
and RTB spending is not something to celebrate.
"It is a one two punch," he said.