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IAB Europe: programmatic investment revenues continue to climb, video a key driver

IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for digital advertising, has announced the results of its annual ‘Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising 2021 Study’.

Now in its seventh year, this study is an industry benchmark to show how programmatic advertising attitudes, adoption and strategies are evolving. The responses came from close to 300 advertisers, agencies, publishers and ad tech vendors in 31 markets with respondents having both pan-European and Global remits. More than three-quarters of the respondents manage annual advertising budgets of €1m or above.

Here are the key ‘at a glance’ findings:

  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, programmatic advertising investments remain fairly stable.
  • 80% of buy and sell-side stakeholders predict an increase in programmatic investment revenues over the next 12 months.
  • Programmatic video is a key driver for growth.
  • There is an increase in the adoption of industry standards such as App ads.txt, Sellers.json, Buyers.json, Supply Path Object, Demand Path Object, among both agencies and advertisers.
  • In-housing is a key trend again after seeing some decline in 2020; in 2021 50% of advertisers stated they have an inhouse model for programmatic trading compared to 20% in 2020. This is mainly driven by the desire for increased control of operations, first party data management and greater transparency on where campaigns run.
  • Better use of data is the main accelerator for programmatic investments in 2021. Additionally, half of advertisers are investing in programmatic to access premium inventory at scale.
  • In 2020, the top barrier amongst advertisers to investing in programmatic advertising was supply chain transparency with 60% citing this. However, in 2021 this dropped by more than 50% to just 25% of advertisers, suggesting that the industry is making significant paths to enhancing transparency on the buy-side.
  • The new concern for advertisers has switched back to brand safety with 42% of advertisers citing it as a key barrier compared to just 10% in 2020.

Commenting on the action being taken to overcome barriers to programmatic investment, David Goddard, VP Business Development, DoubleVerify and Chair, IAB Europe Programmatic Trading Committee, says, “This year, it is encouraging to see that action has been taken, and, amongst buy-side stakeholders, the concern around supply chain transparency has decreased while the adoption of key industry standards has increased. There are still clear concerns, however, that need to be addressed — especially the steep rise in Brand Safety as a barrier to investment — which highlights that all stakeholders need to continue to collaborate to make our ecosystem stronger, safer and more secure.”

IAB Europe will be exploring the insights of this report in more depth in its Virtual Programmatic Day on the 11th of November, register here to secure your free place.

Access the full report here.