Digital Publishers: “Programmatic Is The Future, But…”

Written on
Jan 8, 2016 
Adotas  |

Operative Media, Inc., an advertising business management solutions company, announced the findings of a recent survey of more than 85 premium digital publishing executives regarding the state of their programmatic advertising business.

Programmatic Takes Hold

Operative found that more than 80% of publishers are currently using programmatic solutions to sell digital advertising, including both real-time bidding and premium direct solutions.

The majority of publishers do agree that it is the future of their digital advertising business. Half believe that premium programmatic is the future of their digital business, while nearly as many, about 45% believe that RTB is the future of their business. But…The majority of publishers surveyed reported less than 5% of last year’s revenue from programmatic channels.

The Drawbacks of Programmatic for Publishers

Publishers are betting on programmatic channels despite the fact that publishers also reported major issues with programmatic including heavy manual labor, low CPMs and low revenue.

Most direct sales teams are empowered to sell programmatic, but rely on a complex and manual set of systems and internal teams to complete a deal.

Publishers cite decreasing CPMs and manual labor as the two factors that are most detrimental to their programmatic business.

Less than 30% of publishers optimize programmatic revenue sources in any automated way.

“Publishers understand that in order to sell audiences efficiently across channel, they will need to embrace a programmatic future,” says Operative CEO Lorne Brown (pictured top left). “With the coming advancement of programmatic RTB and premium programmatic across not only digital, but also TV, publishers have an opportunity to improve what has become a very complex digital advertising business. While the industry works to provide better technology and process, publishers must make their voices heard to ensure that the resulting ecosystem works in their favor, minimizing manual labor and encouraging fair and transparent optimization.”


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