RTB: Are You Not in Play, Testing the Waters or All In?

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While RTB may be nearly ubiquitous among U.S. publishers these days, adoption of the technology across the Atlantic has taken a much more leisurely pace. This isn’t that surprising considering that issues from privacy to highly localized markets make integrating automated selling systems across the European landscape a seemingly Herculean task.

However, RTB is finding traction in Europe: in 2012, RTB-based display ads represented on average about 9% of total display ad sales in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which ain’t shabby compared to 15% in the United States.

AdMonsters’ 2013 European Publisher RTB Report delves into why European publishers are increasingly embracing this technology, as well as why others remain “not in play.”

Increased control of inventory and a bump in efficiency are just two of the many reasons publishers may dive into the world of real-time buying. RTB can also assist publishers managing unsold inventory that may be less desirable in a direct sales environment, helping to improve inventory yield, bolster demand and increase CPMs. But in Europe, reaping the benefits of automated buying can be extremely challenging for a variety of reasons.

For RTB to be successful, publishers often need an ‘evangelist’ to help explain the benefits and challenges of RTB; and, due to the smaller size and dearth of resources at many European media outfits, RTB evangelists often don’t exist. What’s more, many European publishers see less impressive market competition for real-time buying, making the yields from RTB too low to warrant automated impressions.

Quality is another major issue that worries European firms when it comes to RTB. With inventory coming from many sources, quality assurance (QA) by publishers can be resource-intensive.

But for a select few in the European advertising world, real-time buying represents a true and beneficial shift in the industry. For these publishers, RTB is merely the gateway to the more exciting and bigger world of programmatic trading – a new way to interact with buyers, to assess inventory, and better target consumers.

The nature of the European advertising market poses many hurdles in the adoption of real-time buying across the Atlantic; however, as markets globalize, and as the industry in Europe grows increasingly dynamic, European publishers are seeing greater benefits from RTB and the opportunity in the larger programmatic horizon.

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