Real-Time Display Advertising State of the Industry

The ability to buy and sell impressions in real-time is a major enabling feature of the fundamental changes powering the display marketplace today. Impressions are coming up for sale as they occur in real-time. Savvy buyers are evaluating these impressions and making data-driven decisions about their value. Display advertising is becoming more accountable, scalable and lucrative.

To learn more about this real-time trend, we recently undertook an industry study with Digiday, surveying more than 300 digital media buyers, agencies, intermediaries and publishers about their thoughts on real-time display advertising. Highlights from these findings will be presented today at DIGIDAY:ONMEDIA in Los Angeles. Some of the revealing findings include:


  • 88% of buyers plan to buy via RTB in 2011, up from 75% last year.
  • 47% of media buyers say that the benefits or RTB will increase their overall digital advertising budget this year (16% said it would not, 37% were unsure).
  • Spending on RTB is quickly moving out of the “test budget” range: 79% of buyers estimate that more than 10% of their digital display budgets will go to RTB in 2011. 33% estimate that 50% or more of their digital display budget will go to RTB. And 7% estimate 90-100% of their digital display budget will go to RTB.
  • 29% of media intermediaries (such as DSPs, ad networks, and exchanges) anticipate their volume of real-time bidding will increase by 100% or more versus last year. 19% believe it will go up by at least 200%.
  • More formats are moving to RTB: 34% of buyers say they are extremely or very likely to purchase rich media ads via RTB this year, 32% are extremely or very likely to purchase dynamic creative ads via RTB, 20% are extremely or very likely to purchase mobile display ads via RTB, 18% are extremely or very likely to purchase in-stream video via RTB and 14% are extremely or very likely to purchase mobile rich media via RTB.
  • Nearly half (48%) of publishers surveyed say they plan to increase the amount of inventory they will make available via RTB. 28% are still deciding. Only 24% said they were not planning to increase RTB inventory.


Real-time bidding is a major enabling force behind this sea change in the way digital media is transacted in today’s advertising marketplace. Yet, RTB is just part of an explosion of technology advancements in display. Read more about this technological Big Bang.

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