Canadian advertisers will invest $881.8 million in programmatic digital display ad spending in 2015 – a 62.4% increase from 2014 – according to the first comprehensive forecast of programmatic ad spending in Canada by research firm eMarketer.
Programmatic will account for approximately 48% of the digital display advertising sold in Canada, according to eMarketer, which projects it to increase to more than half (58%) by 2016.
The company says Canada currently lags about 12 months behind the U.S. and the U.K. in programmatic investment, with analyst Paul Briggs attributing the disparity to the market structure, which features “relatively few” publishers offering options for programmatic inventory.
Briggs says “persisting” advertiser concerns about transparency in both ad delivery and ad fraud are among the biggest obstacles to programmatic growth, both in Canada and globally.
The company defines programmatic digital display ad spending as including API-driven spending on social media platforms, as well as other ads purchased via real-time bidding or programmatic direct methods.
The research firm predicts mobile investment in programmatic will increase 104.4% this year, following a “meteoric” rise of 484% in 2014. Currently, more than half (54%) of all Canadian mobile display ad spending comes via programmatic, a number that is expected to surge to 73% in 2017, when it will cross the $1 billion threshold for the first time.
Mobile’s growth in programmatic is coming at the expense of desktop investment, which will account for 57.2% – or $504 million – of total programmatic display spending this year, down from 65.9% ($358 million) in 2014. Desktop’s share of programmatic is expected to fall further, to 32.1% or $486.9 million, by 2017.
Briggs says desktop programmatic will continue to play an “important role” in marketing campaigns, but notes a more “symbiotic” approach to cross-device campaigns is emerging.
“Mobile will help engage the consumer initially, while desktop will play a key role toward converting engagement into purchase,” says Briggs.