- 10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Seen and What We Can Expect


2017 02 16 hero 10 years of programmatic - 10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Seen and What We Can Expect

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February 16, 2017

10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Seen and What We Can Expect

OpenX turns 10 this year, and so does our industry — it’s crazy how time flies!

We spoke to a few adtech veterans at OpenX to reflect on the evolution of programmatic over the last 10 years and what we can expect to see in the next 10. Here’s what they had to say:

RTB, the most transformative technology — Ian Davidson, VP of Platform Development

Real time bidding itself is the most transformative development in digital advertising in the last decade. So much has stemmed from that. The ability to apply scientific buying methods to large swaths of inventory has unlocked significantly better performance for advertisers.

The most profound memory I have from the last 10 years isn’t a single moment. It is working with our partners to shape new capabilities based on that single innovative step forward. We now apply that technology across screens and formats, we identify users in different ways, we co-innovate new buying models like PMPs and programmatic guaranteed that allow us to create more predictability around performance. And now with the advent of header bidding – which is the second major shift after RTG, the innovation cycle is kicking off again with a whole new series of capabilities we need to build to unlock even more performance for advertisers.

It’ll be fun to see what programmatic powers next.

DOOH on the horizon for programmatic — Richard Kidd, Commercial Director of DACH

For someone who has been in the digital marketing industry since its humble beginnings of GIF ads that were booked by sending a paper insertion order though a fax machine, I can certainly say the industry has moved some!

Technology has allowed both the buy and sell side to move faster, to ascertain inventory types and availability more accurately, and to understand campaign metrics more deeply. We’ve moved beyond just desktop advertising to a multi-device world where advertisers can reach their consumers on any screen. Video advertising has grown from just copying a TV ad, to new formats more suitable for the mobile world we live in.

DOOH is set to benefit from these developments, think of all the advertising opportunities in hotels, sports centers and at conference centers. Programmatic systems can and will support digital inventory, whatever the end unit or device. It is here to stay and provide the most efficient and honest way of buying and selling media, bringing value-seeking advertisers with consumers and audiences together.

10 years of programmatic headshots - 10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Seen and What We Can Expect

VR, AR and IoT will drive ad innovation — Maggie Mesa, VP of Mobile Business Development

I have a lot of fun memories around the growth of programmatic. I remember in the pre-programmatic, pre-DSP and SSP days, the market was flooded with ad networks, and the manual effort needed to manage hundreds, if not thousands, of campaigns in “real time.” I remember all of the late night emails or weekend emails about bad ads, that pre-dated the industry efforts to address ad quality and fraud.

I can’t say this is the most profound memory I have, but I remember when Myspace was bought by News Corp and the level of scrutiny that went into managing the blocklist manually before all of the technology that now enables us to manage it in real time. My colleagues spent countless hours and late nights working on manually blocking ads to support a basic block list. In the years to follow, RTB protocol eliminated this problem, and with the click of a button the problem was solved.

In the next 10 years I actually see a convergence of VR, AR and IoT. I believe users will continue to drive innovation for new advertising experiences. VR is the most exciting platform to emerge in the last few years. Although there is no clearly defined path to integrating advertising into these platform at this time, VR reminds me of the mobile ecosystem in 2007. There is already a significant investment from Facebook, Samsung, HTC, Google and Microsoft with headsets.  

I believe IoT will help drive innovation as we are all becoming more comfortable having multiple devices in our home connected and leveraging that technology. I see IoT and VR technologies thriving together. The question remains on how and when to integrate advertising.  

Privacy and transparency will set the bar for quality — Andrew Buckman, Managing Director of EMEA

Advertising will continue to evolve with the advent of IoT into a proactive service – fridges will be able to order food independently, health monitors will make lifestyle recommendations, cars will set their own servicing schedule, etc.

Advertising will be so tightly woven with the lifestyle of the consumer that the line between neutral and paid- for recommendations will be hard to distinguish. Consumer privacy must become the first consideration in any ad campaign and the transparency of the technology between the device and the user will set the bar for perception of quality.