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How programmatic will fuel a more successful media ecosystem

11 Jan 2017  |  Craig Tuck 
How programmatic will fuel a more successful media ecosystem

Sponsored content: As we approach the annual Year Ahead conference, Craig Tuck, MD UK at RadiumOne, shares his views on the UK's programmatic future...

The rise of programmatic media continues unabated. eMarketer predicts that UK programmatic spend will reach £2.46 billion in 2016, compared to £1.8 billion in 2015 - an uplift of 37%. Meanwhile, the IAB UK predicts that 75% of the digital market will be traded programmatically by 2017.

With agency holding groups like Dentsu Aegis aiming to trade media 100% programmatically by 2020 there is 'plenty of skin' still left in this particular part of the media game. Better efficiencies and smarter audience targeting are simply too good for agencies, brands, publishers and tech providers to ignore and so momentum continues to build.

Here are my key trends to watch out for in 2017...

Partnerships and Collaborations

Agencies, publishers, brands and tech providers will form new, exciting and different relationships as programmatic evolves and squeezes yet more efficiencies out of the supply chain.

Smart Data Rules

Smart data will be the fuel that makes the business difference for brands and I expect data scientists tasked with unlocking such data to be in high demand for years to come.

'Martini' Media

Programmatic's influence will grow across all traditional media channels fuelled by innovation and the continued drive for efficiencies – expect to see more of an agnostic systems-led approach and less silos of old.

Programmatic TV

This is still a pipe dream in terms of TV ads being delivered programmatically in the way online ads are at scale. What we will certainly see is more syncing between TV and online ads. That is, within milliseconds of an ad appearing on ITV, programmatic tech enables a similar digital ad to be served to an online audience with a similar profile to the TV audience in terms of socio-demographics and geography.


Increased industry emphasis from the IAB et al will focus on improving the critical delivery issues of brand safety, ad fraud and viewability to inspire client confidence.

Creative Programmatic Boon

Creative agencies (and tech providers) will grow their capabilities to reclaim and take advantage of the creative supply chain they used to own, meaning better quality work.

New Innovations

I expect to see interesting developments from new areas like connected packaging, connected retail spaces and wearable tech.

Programmatic is evolving at a rapid pace globally. Whilst no single expert can predict the future there is no doubt it is becoming better understood across the industry supply chain, delivering more inspiring stories and business solutions for brands and has - or certainly will - become the de facto trading mechanism for media.

New and exciting job roles will evolve from this technology revolution, smart data will become even more valuable and I firmly believe the future is very bright for those brands that fully embrace the world of the programmatic powerhouse.

However, the growth of programmatic doesn't mean the death of human planning or creativity. This isn't an "either or" situation. It's about how one enhances the other (1 + 1 = 3) - a bit like the TV vs online debate; it's not that one is better than the other, it's that "they work better together".

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