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UK Programmatic Advertising Spending & Trends in 2024 |   18 Jun, 2024

UK Programmatic Ad Spending & Trends in 2024

In 2023, programmatic advertising spending in the UK reached roughly £30.6 billion. The programmatic display advertising market is projected to grow by 12.6% in 2024, bringing it to within just four percentage points of becoming fully programmatic. This highlights how integral this technology has become to the UK ad industry. On the other hand, mobile programmatic ad spending increased at a similar rate of 12.7%. However, Connected TV (CTV) advertising is expected to outperform both, growing by 20.7%, which is 8 percentage points higher.

Programmatic is dominating the market. More than four out of every five (85%) British pounds is conducted programmatically, and this proportion is projected to grow in the coming years. This trend holds substantial global importance.

UK Programmatic Ad Spending

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying and selling of online advertising space, utilizing software and algorithms to facilitate the process. Unlike manual advertising, which depends on negotiation between publishers and marketers, programmatic buying leverages technology to purchase ad space efficiently. 

The UK, being one of the largest digital ad markets worldwide, boasts a high programmatic uptake, making it the third-largest programmatic ad market globally. With programmatic ad revenues reaching approximately 38 billion USD in 2023, the British market is surpassed only by the United States and China.

Here are the key aspects of programmatic advertising:

  1. Automation: Unlike traditional ad buying, which involves manual processes and negotiations, programmatic advertising uses automated systems to purchase ad space. This makes the process faster and more efficient.
  2. Real-time Bidding (RTB): One of the most common forms of programmatic advertising is real-time bidding. In RTB, ad impressions are bought and sold in real-time auctions that occur in milliseconds before a webpage load for a user. This allows advertisers to bid for ad space based on the user’s profile and the likelihood of the ad’s success.
  3. Data-driven: Programmatic display advertising relies heavily on audience data to target ads. Advertisers use data from various sources, including user demographics, behavior, and interests, to ensure their ads reach the right audience at the right time.

Notable Key Trends in Programmatic Advertising in 2024

1. CTV Advertising

CTV is becoming one of the main focal points for UK media buyers. A global survey indicated that 85 percent of marketers expect to increase their CTV ad spend in 2024 as viewers switch from cable and satellite to over-the-top (OTT) video content. (Source: Statista)

2. Advanced Integrated AI and Machine Learning Support

The integration of advanced AI & ML is transforming the programmatic ads industry, redefining the conception & inclusion of Ad campaigns. These cutting-edge technologies can now analyze vast quantities of data with remarkable speed and accuracy, significantly enhancing advertiser’s ability to comprehend & predict consumer behavior. With the capabilities of AI & ML, advertisers are able to optimize their campaigns dynamically. Through this process, the delivery of highly targeted & personally relevant advertising experiences is possible for every consumer. 

3. Cookieless Advertising

Among the evolving trends in programmatic advertising, the shift away from cookies is particularly unpredictable. Google’s planned discontinuation of cookie support has been a topic for years. Initially set for the second quarter of 2022, it was delayed to 2023, and now it has been postponed again to 2025, giving advertisers more time to adapt.

Third-party cookies play a crucial role in various advertising functions such as targeting, frequency capping, measurement, and attribution. With the impending phase-out of cookie support by Google and other platforms, alternative solutions are necessary.

Proprietary data offers a wealth of valuable insights for advertisers, including user preferences and purchasing patterns. This data opens up numerous possibilities and can be leveraged in several ways, such as:

  • Expanding the scope of user data.
  • Addressing registration obstacles.
  • Enhancing audience segmentation and contextual targeting.

4. Programmatic Digital Out-Of-Home Will Reach New Heights

In 2024, programmatic digital-out-of-home (pDOOH) advertising is expected to grow significantly. Spending on pDOOH ads is projected to increase by 57% from 2023 to 2028, reaching $15.53 billion. This growth shows how effective and innovative pDOOH advertising has become. Most marketers trust pDOOH because it provides a safe environment for brand messages. Two out of three marketers believe it ensures brand safety. Brands that can make memorable and eye-catching ads for pDOOH will benefit the most. These ads should be personalized, interactive, and immersive to attract and engage audiences effectively.

5. Various Forms of Advertising in the Programmatic World

In 2024, the integration of AI in creative optimization will become more prominent. Artificial Intelligence tools will leverage data to tailor ad creatives in real time, ensuring that users see the most relevant and engaging formats. Expect to see a rise in video formats and in-app ads, providing a direct connection to customers during their most engaged moments. Dynamic creatives will elevate personalization to new heights, adapting ad content in real time based on user behavior and preferences. This innovation has the potential to revolutionize conversion rates.

Ready to integrate the latest UK programmatic advertising trends into your 2024 marketing strategy? In the UK, programmatic digital display ad spending will account for 96.0% of the overall digital display market this year, highlighting its dominance in sectors like e-commerce. Innovations such as cookieless marketing, personalization, and AI-powered solutions are transforming how businesses market and convert customers. To achieve your business goals and leverage these new technologies, connect with us now!

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