Analyst: Trading Desks In Pole Position As Programmatic Grabs One-Fifth Of Non-Search Spend

pivotal-brian“Trading desks, which include WPP’s Xaxis, Publicis’ Audience on Demand, Omnicom’s Accuen and Interpublic’s Cadreon, probably deployed $2 billion of online spending in the US last year, up from around $1bn in 2012 and may spend up to $3bn in 2013. This represents a substantial change in the context of a market which saw $18 billion in non-search spending during 2012.”

“…The marginal cost of buying incremental impressions is substantially less than it is with the legacy process. Overall, we think that whereas RFP-based buys might consume 10% of spending for agency fees, trading desks might consume closer to 2-5%. In the context of how large marketers make decisions, these fee differences are no small matter.”

-Brian Wieser, Pivotal Research analyst, in a report this morning.

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!


  1. Diego Panama

    Agree that probably 10% to 20% of display budgets flow through programmatic channels, but in my experience, most of that spend is coming from third parties that go through the RFP/IO process with the agency (ad networks) and only a minority comes through actual trading desks.

  2. Alejandro Correa

    the 2.5 – 5% in non-media costs to support a campaign seems low; does it factor in the media markups that the trading desks are (probably) building into their rates?

    As onerous as the paper-shuffling required through the standard IO process is, delivering a campaign through programmatic channels is also labor intensive, albeit the labor is more focused on attaining media objectives. If you consider that many of these buys are executed in the framework of the legacy systems (that require IOs and actualizations) the real cost to support programmatic media increases even more.