Interactive Advertising Bureau
14 December 2023

2024 Trends in the Programmatic Ecosystem

What will 2024 have in store for the programmatic industry? What buzzwords will pop up at every conference and industry event? We’ve asked the people in the know.. Members of IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee! They predicted AI, sustainability and many more last year, so it’s a safe bet they will get it right for 2024. Take a look below and see their predictions!

Luca Masiello, Senior Manager, Advertiser Partnerships, Microsoft

Three things: sustainability, supply chain transparency and AI. 2023 was the first year the word ‘sustainability’ really entered our programmatic lexicon. I believe we will see huge advancements in this space in 2024, specifically around measurement and (much-needed) legislation. I expect to see the formation of numerous new partnerships between technology companies and sustainable-tech vendors to surface even more effective ‘green’ buying solutions. 

The focus on supply chain transparency and more efficient buying in programmatic continues to be front a centre for media buyers, especially given the global macroeconomic environment and increased pressure on advertiser P&Ls. Buyers are continuing to scrutinise both their route to supply, and the inventory itself. 2024 will certainly see a continuation of this trend, and I’m predicting that the most advanced players will start to leverage tactics like inventory curation on-mass.  

Lastly, I believe 2024 will be the first year we see generative AI start to touch even more advertising channels. We’ve already seen huge strides in search with the launch of tools like Copilot, and its impact on creativity and content generation, but this is only scratching the surface around what’s possible. Next year will be the year we see the application of generative AI models more broadly within advertising, including programmatic, to unlock even more value, create more engaging consumer experiences and increase efficiency and effectiveness. 

2024 buzzword prediction: AI’ – of course! ‘Sus-tech’ (although I’m not sure this exists yet).

Lisa Kalyuzhny, RVP, Advertiser Solutions, PubMatic

Next year, programmatic budgets are expected to experience fluctuations. However, the inherent flexibility of programmatic advertising remains a key advantage. The ability to swiftly set up and launch campaigns without the need for upfront commitments positions programmatic as a well-suited solution for uncertain economic times. As agencies and brands navigate this uncertainty, consolidation within the industry is anticipated. Key players will likely optimise their supply chains, emphasising the need for transparency and automation from their partners. The consolidation process is expected to yield efficiencies, creating an environment where programmatic advertising can thrive.

From a digital advertising perspective, maximising efficiency involves considerations such as supply path optimization (SPO), automation, quality, transparency, and sustainability. Looking ahead to 2024, the industry anticipates a growing emphasis on forging close relationships between buyers and publishers. This is evidenced by an increasing number of SPO deals focused on gaining control over the trading process and enhancing transparency.

A strong preference will emerge for solutions capable of leveraging data from publishers and brands. This emphasis on data utilisation aims to enable better targeting of specific audiences at scale, particularly in connected TV (CTV) and commerce media.

While the automation of manual processes is now a standard, technology providers are urged to focus on delivering additional value through data partnerships. These partnerships empower brands and publishers to adapt their strategies in real-time based on a multitude of variables, fostering a more responsive, effective, and relevant digital advertising landscape. An illustrative example of this evolution is the shift from demand- to supply-side targeting, a change proven to enhance CPMs, improve match rates, and reduce wastage.

SPO tools will play a crucial role in helping buyers align their targeting and bidding strategies with key business metrics, moving away from less meaningful digital metrics.

Lastly, sustainability is acknowledged as more than just another key performance indicator (KPI). It is now being considered an integral part of performance measurement and evaluation, to be incorporated alongside other goals. Certain market solutions enable marketers to include carbon emissions as a KPI in their strategy, providing transparency and insights into which channels and campaigns deliver against all relevant goals. This level of insight empowers media planners to create an optimal media mix that minimises carbon emissions while maximising overall performance.

2024 buzzword prediction: CTV, AI, Commerce media, Total Video, cost per attention

David Bauckmann, CTO, ImpressionMedia 

This year, we introduced the first in our region option to buy CTV inventory from a premium TV broadcaster and the interest from advertisers has been huge. We expect to expand this to other publishers and grow the unit price of CPT. In this context, I also expect to see the beginning of a decline in demand for display (either smaller formats or less visibility) advertising at the expense of video advertising. 

We are slowly starting to address the measurement of the carbon footprint of advertising, but the process is slower than we expected. At some point, however, I foresee a breakthrough and rapid integration for most players in the market.

And of course, we are all in suspense about the end of 3rd party cookies in Chrome. But only the tipping point will show whether we have prepared well

2024 buzzword prediction: CTV, Supply chain / Supply path

Csaba Szabo, Managing Director EMEA, Integral Ad Science

AI will continue to be the hot topic in 2024, and we will start to see more clearly its revolutionary impact on our industry. Everything from targeting audiences, measuring effectiveness, and preventing ad fraud will benefit from AI-driven tools, ensuring marketers can run more effective campaigns. However, while many will use these technologies for good, some bad actors will inevitably utilise AI in ways that will negatively impact online environments. We are already seeing this with the growth of AI-generated, made for advertising (MFA) sites. These and other low-quality ad environments aim to pull ad spend by delivering cheap impressions that deliver on ‘vanity’ metrics. While these may look good in a report, they do little to drive ROI.

A focus on high-quality advertising is therefore vital in the next year to reduce wasted spend and improve the performance of campaigns – especially with budgets continuing to be closely monitored. Quality impressions can mean a number of things to different people, but to me fundamentally it means supporting not only premium content and publishers, but also diverse content creators as well as reducing the carbon footprint of those ad impressions overall.

There are an increasing number of metrics and measurement tools that can be harnessed to gain visibility on the environmental impact of campaigns. Embracing these will be vital in helping the industry to work towards reaching net zero. With effective measurement, advertisers can gain a clear view on the most carbon-intensive parts of the advertising supply chain and utilise a holistic approach to drive better results for both the planet and their campaigns.

Stephanie Donovan, Global Head of Revenue, Triton Digital

Retail Media Networks in the US will outpace digital ad growth in 2024, 14.2% increase vs 11.2%. This year, we’ll see retailers add audio through programmatic exchanges to bolster their multi-channel strategy. Publishers will earn more of the retail media budgets with inventory that can target the listening audience and is aligned with the retailers’ in-store shopper data. We will see that digital audio will demonstrate success in moving traffic to in-store visits as well as upper funnel branding. Advertisers will continue to accelerate spend in audio as they realise they can achieve a similar level of targeting as video and the transparent measurement they have become accustomed to with digital media while expanding their reach and efficacy.

2024 buzzword prediction: Transparency

Aviran Edery, SVP & GM of Marketplace for Verve Group

2024 will be the year the industry begins its shift into the post-privacy future, a world without cookies and IDFAs. we will see this change happen gradually, and then all at once. Companies in denial or slow to embrace this shift will be left behind, as entire technologies will need to be rewritten and cannot be rebuilt overnight, and new solutions for achieving addressability will need to be utilised or invented. This creates opportunity and a great level of market share for those in the open internet with an early lead, each of whom will stake claims for up-for-grabs budgets.

2024 buzzword prediction: Election season. Privacy. Addressability. GPT.

Pete Danks, VP Product, Magnite

Let’s start with the obvious - 1 percent 3p cookie Chrome test begins. It’s small but we can think of this as the tip of a pretty significant iceberg. This is happening, and one day (still tbc based on the ‘phase out’ period but probably not 2024) there will be no 3p cookies powering adtech. The industry will spend a huge amount of time and money testing and refining alternative technology. Less obvious will be the positive outcomes of that - ‘PETs’ (Privacy Enhancing technologies), innovation in contextual classification, and a shift of value back towards publishers (the content, audience and data creators). Beyond this huge topic, whilst there’s a risk that privacy places a general drag on innovation elsewhere, we can expect (hope!?) to see progress on CO2 estimation tools and workflows, growth in CTV supply (especially ad-supported) and the continued explosion of curated marketplaces with a focus on 1p data.

2024 buzzword prediction: for display / browser-based business, “privacy sandbox”  in addition for all of us: “addressability” and “sustainability”

Emmanuel Josserand, Sr Dir. Agency, Brand and Industry Relations, FreeWheel

With the growing popularity of advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) and free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST), we will see more premium inventory opening up to programmatic. Marketers will also increasingly look to automation to drive efficiency in areas such as media buying, campaign optimisation, and targeting at scale: a priority for 60% of UK marketers (according to AudienceXpress’ 2023 Advanced TV Uncovered study). We can, therefore, expect advertisers to look more closely at their programmatic strategies and spend more of their budget in this area in 2024. 

There will be further moves to replace third-party cookies with ID solutions and contextual targeting. We expect to see the expansion of new metrics like attention to measure ad effectiveness, and others to simplify transactions, such as CPMs rather than GRPs. 
There will also be an acceleration of initiatives (particularly around Co2 measurement) and steps toward climate-conscious advertising as more players understand their environmental impact, look for efficiencies and new ways to better collaborate to create more sustainable advertising, across the supply chain. 

2024 buzzword prediction:  There is no shortage of buzzwords in our industry and with so much going on right now, it feels like 2024 will be particularly buzzword-heavy.  Here are my top four predictions.  

  • First, there is no doubt that Cookieless and Identity will continue to shake the industry, as the end of third-party cookies finally takes place mid-year. 
  • Retail Media will pursue its exponential growth as more actors will want to seize the opportunity.  
  • While still in its infancy, Artificial Intelligence will likely make its way to the top spot as a buzzword.  
  • Finally, and positively, Sustainability (climate/environment)will be omnipresent with more companies now embarking on the climate journey. 

Tanya Field, Chief Product Officer and Co-founder at Novatiq

2024 we will finally see the end of the road for the cookie therefore 2024 will have a real change in store for the programmatic industry. Publishers will need to look for new ways to identify their audiences in order to monetise their inventory effectively. Advertisers will need to find new ways to deliver addressability so they can reach the right people at the right time in the right place. Agencies will be testing different solutions so they can deliver optimised advertising for their clients. Therefore 2024 is about real change and how we maintain the delivery of personalisation in a massively changed environment and to maintain the open web. 

2024 buzzword prediction: Audience addressability (because it will be a significant challenge)

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