In the past few years, automated advertising has changed how brands and marketers reach the people they want to reach. This automated way of buying and selling ad space has changed how advertising works by making it more efficient, allowing for better tracking and real-time improvement. Data indicates that more than 91% of the $148 billion spent on digital display advertising is transacted through programmatic methods.

As technology improves, programmatic advertising is growing quickly and setting the way for new trends and expectations for the future. In this blog post, we’ll look at how programmatic ads have changed, discuss current trends, and make some guesses about its future.

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The Past: The Emergence of Programmatic Ads

Programmatic display ads had its origins in the early 2000s when ad tech companies started developing technologies to automate the buying and selling of ad space. Initially, programmatic was mainly used for display advertising, where banners and static ads were bought and sold programmatically. The technology gained traction due to its ability to optimize ad placements and target specific audience segments with greater precision, thereby maximizing the return on investment for advertisers.

Key Milestones:

  • Real-time bidding (RTB): RTB became a game-changer, allowing advertisers to bid for ad impressions in real-time auctions. This enhanced efficiency and transparency in the ad-buying process.
  • Data-driven targeting: With the growth of internet usage and the proliferation of data, programmatic ads were able to leverage user behavior data, demographics, and other metrics to serve ads to relevant audiences.
  • Header Bidding: Header bidding emerged as a new method to sell ad impressions. It allowed publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making ad calls to their ad servers. This resulted in increased competition and improved ad revenues for publishers.
  • GDPR Implementation: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018, impacting programmatic advertising by requiring companies to obtain explicit consent from users before processing their personal data for ad targeting purposes. This regulation led to a shift in data collection and usage practices in the programmatic ecosystem.

The Present: Programmatic Advertising’s Dominance

As we move into the present, programmatic display ads, have firmly established themselves as the dominant force in the digital advertising landscape.

Advantages of Programmatic Advertising:

Precision targeting: Advertisers can reach the right audiences at the right time with laser-like precision, increasing the likelihood of conversions and reducing ad waste.

  • Real-time optimization: Programmatic algorithms allow advertisers to adjust their bids and targeting parameters in real time, responding to changing market conditions and consumer behavior.
  • Enhanced performance tracking: Detailed analytics and reporting tools enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns accurately.
  • Cross-device and cross-channel capabilities: Programmatic technology enables seamless advertising across various devices and channels, ensuring a consistent brand experience for users.
  • Cost-efficiency: Programmatic advertising streamlines the buying process, eliminating the need for human intermediaries and reducing costs.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Ad fraud: The rise of programmatic advertising also brought challenges like ad fraud, where fake or non-human traffic artificially inflates ad impressions.
  • Brand safety: Programmatic ads run the risk of appearing on inappropriate websites, damaging brand reputation.
  • Privacy concerns: The use of consumer data for targeting has raised privacy issues and led to stricter regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

programmatic ads

The Future: Top Trends of Programmatic Ads We Can Expect

1. Integration of TV and audio programming will grow

Programmatic display ads will keep growing into more standard channels like TV and radio, giving marketers more ways to focus their ads and buy ad space. With the rise of connected TV (CTV) and streaming services, automated TV ads can reach people who have stopped using standard cable and satellite services. Also, programmable audio advertising makes it possible to put focused audio on streaming platforms and podcasts, taking advantage of the growing trend of listening to audio.

2. Enhanced Cross-Device and Cross-Media Targeting

As tools for gathering data and figuring out who someone is getting better, marketers will be able to target customers easily across multiple devices and media channels, getting a full picture of the customer’s trip. A programmatic ad agency will be able to know and link the names of users across different devices. This will make it possible for ads to be more personalized and consistent. Cross-media targeting will let marketers coordinate their campaigns across different platforms, making sure that their messages are consistent and improving the success of their campaigns.

3. Blockchain for Transparency and Trust

Concerns about scams and lack of openness in automated ads could be solved by blockchain technology. By using a safe, decentralized system, blockchain can keep a clear, auditable record of ad views. This makes it easier for marketers, media, and customers to trust each other. Blockchain can also make it easier to verify ad inventory and stop scams like ad theft and domain faking. As the industry tries to improve openness and stop theft, blockchain-based solutions may play a big part in making sure that the automated advertising environment is trustworthy and responsible.

4. Personalization at Scale

With more data and AI skills becoming available, programmatic ads will make it possible to create hyper-personalized experiences at a large size. Advertisers will be able to send highly relevant, personalized texts to each user, which will increase connection and sales. AI systems will look at a huge amount of data to make profiles of users, guess how they will act, and give personalized ads in real-time. With the help of dynamic creative optimization, a skilled programmatic ad agency will be able to instantly change ad content based on user tastes, location, weather, and other factors. Personalization on a large scale will help businesses connect with their viewers better and get better results from their campaigns.

5. Voice-Activated Advertising

As smart speakers and voice helpers become more common, automated ads will change to fit this format. Advertisers will use voice-activated technology to send focused audio ads to customers, giving them a new way to reach them. Voice-activated advertising makes it possible for people to connect with brands and have conversations with them directly by using voice instructions. As voice technology improves and becomes a part of people’s daily lives, algorithmic advertising will add voice-activated features to send more personalized and relevant ads to the user’s situation.


Programmatic advertising has changed a lot, changing the advertising business with its speed, ability to focus, and ability to optimize in real-time. Programmatic programs work better now using data-driven targeting, AI, and advanced ad forms. As technology keeps getting better, programmatic ads will get even smarter, using AI, machine learning, and new ad forms. What’s next?

Continue reading iTMunch for the latest news and articles related to programmatic advertising. Learn more about our programmatic advertising.

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