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Programmatic advertising worldwide - statistics & facts

Programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying and selling of digital ad space. In contrast to manual advertising, which relies on human interaction and negotiation between publishers and marketers, programmatic ad buying harnesses technology to purchase digital display space. This use of software and algorithms helps streamline ad buying processes, which is why programmatic has become one of the most indispensable digital marketing tools worldwide. In 2020, global programmatic ad spend reached an estimated 129 billion U.S. dollars, with spending set to surpass 150 billion by 2021. The United States remains the leading programmatic advertising market worldwide, but marketers from countries such as China or the UK also embrace the benefits of programmatic buying more vividly than ever.

Market leaders in the programmatic ecosystem

In today’s competitive advertising landscape, marketers use programmatic advertising and automation solutions to target audiences based on user data. According to the latest forecasts, the marketing automation software market is on track to reach 17 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, with revenues set to increase almost threefold compared to 2019. Hubspot, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Oracle Marketing are among the leading marketing automation solution providers worldwide, accounting for a combined market share of almost 50 percent. Other household brands that are particularly popular among advertising publishers include Google Ad Manager, Amazon Publisher Services, and OpenX, which were named the most used supply-side platforms (SSPs) to manage ad inventory in 2020.

Display in the lead

Display advertising has arguably experienced the most significant transformation following the programmatic revolution. In 2020, global spending on programmatic display advertising rose to 126 billion U.S. dollars, representing almost 70 percent of total display advertising expenditure. In developed digital markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States, programmatic’s share of display ad spend even exceeded 80 percent that year.

Brands shift programmatic in-house

Brands wanting to promote their products and services through programmatic advertising have traditionally relied on outsourcing their digital marketing needs. In recent years, however, there has been a wave of companies moving business in-house by leveraging self-service tools and platforms. Benefits of in-house programmatic advertising range from campaign effectiveness to cost efficiency, but companies also value flexibility and control over their marketing content and first-party data. According to a recent survey, brands in Europe were most inclined to in-house programmatic, with over 70 percent of respondents having completely or partially moved programmatic in-house by 2020. How this trend and programmatic’s overall role in the digital media ecosystem will evolve in the future depends on technological innovation, consumer behavior, and global data privacy regulations.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Programmatic advertising worldwide".


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