After an innovative 2014 year for programmatic video, 2015 will be a year of maturation as we see increased adoption, performance and consolidation across the industry. So what exactly is in store for programmatic video in 2015? Here are some trends to watch:

1. Programmatic Video Going Mainstream

According to eMarketer, more than $2 billion in video ads will be transacted on programmatic platforms in 2015, effectively tripling 2014’s digital video spend.

Brands have been sold on the efficacy of programmatic, and in 2015, agencies and publishers will follow suit. Automation represents a huge opportunity to boost profits as advertisers seek to consolidate video ad buys across publishers through single programmatic platforms.

2. Traditional TV Going Programmatic

BN-FX654_coorse_E_20141208142319The $70B TV industry is on the verge of major disruption. Media buyers, advertisers and ad tech companies are preparing for a future that’s platform agnostic, where digital video spots are distributed across all screens simultaneously.

In 2015, we will see traditional TV providers adopting programmatic technology (just take a look at ESPN’s latest programmatic spots), leveraging more data and selling audience segments to advertisers on an impression basis. TV rating systems, which have traditionally dictated advertising prices, could take a back seat due to questionable measuring methods and recent concerns over accuracy.

After all, will brands care if their impression appears on “Duck Dynasty” or “Dancing With the Stars” as long as their target audience gets the message?

3. Data-Driven Creative

As marketers leverage more robust, granular data sets, video creative and strategic execution will continue to evolve. Marketers will use advanced data to determine the best creative types, placements, contextual ad content and target audience to help drive increased campaign success. Additionally, by eliminating the repetitive and routine parts of ad creation, programmatic technology allows designers to quickly adapt and build ads that resonate.

“Automation is taking hold and as this continues, it is freeing up brands and publishers to be more creative. Video will be the recipient of this creative explosion, and new ways of approaching and thinking about video will transform marketing and media the way programmatic and automation have these last 18 months.” Allie Kline, CMO, AOL Advertising (Source: Fast Company)

4. Mobile Video Spend

031c7d3Despite the rapid adoption of mobile video in 2014, mobile web supply ultimately outstripped demand, with many marketers unsure of the format’s impact on consumers. In turn, mobile web video CPMs were generally lower than that of their desktop counterparts.

According to eMarketer, mobile programmatic spending is projected to surpass desktop programmatic advertising spend in 2015. Mobile targeting and measurement will become more sophisticated, allowing marketers to target and measure audiences in the same way they are on desktops. Device ID mapping is progressing, and will allow for cross-screen targeting and measurement. These advances will allow for more premium inventory, raising both CPMs and demand.

5. Increased Investment in Ad Tech

With the biggest tech M&A boom since the dotcom bubble, 2014 year was both an exciting and challenging year for ad tech in the capital markets. Publicly traded video tech companies experienced dropping share prices, while more specialized providers were acquired by companies like Facebook and Yahoo.

As larger technology players, brands, agencies and publishers continue to understand and invest in video, companies that offer this technology will likely see improved performance in capital markets during 2015. Those offering full service management solutions will likely emerge as the leaders, while those offering specialty solutions are more likely to be acquired by larger industry players.


With the recent strides made in ad tech, it is easy to forget that it is still a relatively new category, especially programmatic video. The potential to enhance the delivery, targeting and effectiveness of digital video is tremendous, and we can look forward to great things in 2015.