There’s no doubt that 2020 will be a year of change in the programmatic space. From greater competition in the addressable TV market in the UK to the ever-increasing importance of 1st and 2nd party data as we inch closer to a cookie-free world, here are five programmatic predictions for 2020.

Programmatic digital-out-of-home will become mainstream

There are currently more than 11,000 digital screens across the UK. This number is set to increase by 11% in 2020, so there’s little question that digital-out-of-home (DOOH) budgets will experience substantial growth in 2020.

DOOH is defined by the IAB as a ‘dynamically-served visual medium that reaches consumers on the move, with advertising that is targeted, un-skippable, and always above the fold’.

Programmatic technology allows for a streamlined buying process across DOOH media. The bespoke targeting options of programmatic (daypart, weather conditions, and demographic) combined with the reach outdoor can provide gives advertisers great scale to deliver impactful and highly relevant adverts to the consumer.

Addressable TV advertising will grow significantly in the UK

Smart-home adoption is on the rise globally, with connected TV (CTV) among the most popular smart devices currently available. CTV paves the way for addressable ads which in turn allows targeted ads to be shown to different households while they consume the same content.

Sky AdSmart has been operating in the addressable TV domain largely unchallenged in the UK for some time, and looks set to continue in 2020 as Channel 4 signed a deal with Sky last year to be able to use their AdSmart technology to deliver targeted ads across their programming. ITV on the other hand has launched its own DSP, Planet V, giving advertisers access to inventory on its VOD service, ITV Hub.

There are two key points here. First, addressable TV advertising makes it possible for advertisers to reach valuable niche audiences. This leads to the second takeaway: TV advertising is no longer the exclusive domain of advertisers with big budgets. By using a highly targeted strategy, it’s possible for smaller advertisers to run addressable TV campaigns with minimal wastage.

The arrival of new publishers in the CTV space also opens the possibility for trading with multiple publishers programmatically in real time through a DSP. As the tech develops, a single point of purchase will allow access to the same viewer across multiple publishers at competing prices and facilitate a granular control of frequency and sequencing across multiple publishers. As with so many media channels in the coming years, DSPs are likely to play an increasingly central role in the buying of TV inventory.

2nd Party publisher data will be key to campaign performance

With privacy regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, along with the recent announcement by Google that cookies are set to be eliminated from Chrome by 2022, it means 3rd party data will play a diminishing role in ad campaigns over the next few years.

Enter: 2nd party data. This is 1st party data purchased from a trusted source, directly from a publisher for example. Access to this type of high-quality data gives advertisers quality and scale, allowing them to leverage more customer information to create valuable bespoke audiences. The importance of this is only going to continue to grow as advertisers adjust to the new reality of privacy regulations in the 2020s.

Artificial intelligence will transform performance in programmatic

As AI continues to change the face of society at large, it’s no surprise that it’s also played an increasingly important role in the optimisation and management of programmatic campaigns.

AI effectively optimises campaigns to hit KPIs by identifying trends and patterns through multivariable analysis. Additionally, it allows for minute-to-minute automated optimization that simply would not be possible for a human to perform.

Space & Time is already reaping the rewards of this nascent technology, with initial AI-led campaigns delivering performance improvements of up to 40%.

Amazon becomes a significant player

While the digital market is still very much a duopoly between Facebook and Google in the UK, Amazon is expanding its market share year-on-year. If the UK follows the US’s lead in this regard, eMarketer projects Amazon’s share of the digital ad spend pie to grow to almost 9%.

Though still relatively small compared to Facebook and Google, Amazon’s demand-side platform will play no small part in this expansion. Using this platform, advertisers have a unique opportunity to access Amazon’s first-party data, allowing them to get their ads in front of high-intent customers both inside and out of the Amazon ecosystem.

If you’re interested in exploring how programmatic can work for you please get in touch with our team here.

Liam Baldieri, Programmatic Executive