Read thought provoking articles on the use of machine learning for improving mobile app marketing performance.

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Programmatic Advertising: The History & Future

In the old days, if an advertiser wanted to buy media inventory from a publisher, they would do this manually and directly. This can be a tedious process, which involved negotiations, insertion orders (IOs), manual tracking, and long waiting periods. The advertiser had to track the results manually in order to see where the ads were performing the best. Additionally, because advertisers typically purchased media on a CPM model, they bought impressions in bulk - the same ad on the same app. Regardless of the user demographic and behavior, every user was seeing the same ad.

 The Beginning of Programmatic Advertising

As time went on and the number of advertisers and publishers grew exponentially, it became impossible for publishers to sell most of their inventory manually and for advertisers to handle the direct media buying process. The advertisers would have to be in direct contact with thousands of publishers at a time in order to maximize their reach. Additionally, manually tracking all of the ads proved to be nearly impossible. Now, thanks to the availability of programmatic media, this problem is solved. Today, marketers around the world are leveraging programmatic strategies and tools to deliver personalized user experiences – across devices and continents. 

As advertisers’ demands for programmatic buying rise, publishers become more willing to release their premium inventory for programmatic buying. On the other hand, there are also maturing advertising technologies that meet the increasing attention and needs from advertisers. These technologies help ensure quality of media inventory, which in turn help solve issues such as ad viewability, fraud, and brand safety.

Predictions for The Future

In the future, mobile will be the next growth engine of programmatic buying and will gradually replace the dominant role of desktop. This is inevitable given the surge of smartphone adoption, which is being facilitated, by faster mobile networks, as well as price reduction for both devices and mobile network fee. 

While cross device measurement remains a challenge, it is still a major discussion point. With positive advancements – such as premium inventory, increasing technology maturity to tackle viewability and fraud issues, and advanced mobile programmatic capabilities – programmatic buying will continue to mature globally. 

Let’s prove the point by numbers. A study by eMarketer shows that this year, more than two-thirds of all digital display advertising will be purchased programmatically. U.S. programmatic ad spending alone is forecasted to reach $22.10 billion. With an almost 40% jump over last year, programmatic will represent 67% of the total digital ad spend in the U.S. Programmatic advertising will also have success also beyond the boundaries of the US. eMarketer expects advertisers to spend $9.29 billion on programmatic digital display advertising in China and $4.06 billion in the UK.

At Aarki, we leverage machine learning technology to do better audience targeting in programmatic advertising. To learn more about how Aarki can help with your next app marketing using programmatic media, please reach out to us at


Topics: Mobile Advertising, Mobile App Advertising, Programmatic Advertising