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Publisher Trends: Global Programmatic and Ad Revenue Insights

Uncover the trends shaping global programmatic and ad revenue this year with fresh data from Assertive Yield’s Industry Insights Report.

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Written By
Katia Moura Rodrigues

As we step into 2024, the publishing industry continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. As publishers respond to unexpected drops in direct demand, fears (and hopes) from generative AI, anticipated alterations to cookies, privacy issues, and shifts in platform strategies, we observe a trend among publishers to streamline their revenue operations. 

This recalibration predominantly involves cost-saving measures, including implementing efficient solutions for operational scalability, workforce adjustments, innovating revenue streams, and maximizing value by targeting key customer segments for improved user experience. Our latest report offers an in-depth exploration of these strategic adaptations. 

Here are some qualitative highlights:

  • Indications for a transformation in the SSP market are rising, with Tier 1 SSPs changing their business model, and newer competitors generating good CPMs with specific tech.
  • While 2023 presented challenges for the programmatic display open market, it concluded on an optimistic note, fostering anticipation for a better performance in 2024.
  • In preparations for the third-party cookie depreciation, Safari has made significant strides in reducing the gap in CPMs compared to Chrome traffic. Despite progress, Safari’s CPMs still lag behind those of Chrome.
  • In 2024, a reassessment and verification of user IDs may be necessary, as a significant percentage of auctions are experiencing a shortfall in obtaining user IDs, despite their implementation.

If you are interested in programmatic insights, this article explores what lies ahead for Q1/2024 and beyond based on Assertive Yield’s latest Industry Insights Report: “2024 Publisher Trends: Global Programmatic & Ad Revenue”. The report is the result of in-depth data analysis across thousands of domains, encompassing billions of monthly impressions from publishers and SSPs. 

For a more detailed view of the Q4/2023 results and projections for 2024, we invite you to watch the analysis from Assertive Yield’s ad tech leaders, below.

Now, let’s explore ever-changing programmatic insights.

Top Programmatic Insights from Q4/2024 and for 2024

SSP Evolution

Several trends have marked the SSPs market in 2023 and they will continue to shape it in 2024 as well:  Consolidation, Sustainability, Tech-Driven Inventory, and Direct Access to the inventory. 

After a rapid phase of companies on the supply side trying to reach as many big and small publishers as possible, to combine the inventory, and then sell it to as many DSPs as possible, we’ve seen a sort of a decline. While all of the bid requests coming from the publishers and their various traffic are a scalable potential for SSPs, they also come with server costs, with the inability to curate the queries and pass the right ones to the right DSPs. 

As a result - we are seeing smaller SSPs being bought out by companies that know how to handle the challenges, in an especially challenging market, which leads to at least several bankruptcies and market leaves. In 2024, we’ll see how these SSPs will fare compared to tier-one SSPs, especially given their direct connections with DSPs. 

In the full version of the report, you can find more detailed information on the top SSPs’ performance and their metrics. 

SSP Win-Rate Evolution

Third-party cookies phase-out

Google Chrome seems to be committed to switching off third-party cookies for all of its users by the end of 2024. The replacement coming is the controversial Topics API. However, other methods to get bid enrichment have been around for longer - from the classical contextual advertising to the more recent - User IDs. Within Prebid, User IDs provide an alternative to cookies - while there are plenty of them, it’s hard to acknowledge which ones provide a better uplift for your specific user case. And it’s even harder to see the uplift, especially in a short time.

In preparations for the third-party cookie depreciation in Q4/2023, Safari has been able to narrow down the gap in CPMs to Chrome traffic, although still far behind.

Read the full report to learn more:

Most Used IDs

User IDs set might need to be revisited and reverified in 2024, with a big percentage of auctions not getting used. 

Publishers and advertisers are actively seeking effective solutions and workflows for their businesses. Several third-party solutions, including Alternative IDs, Seller-Defined Audiences, and Email-hashing

Some of these ID solutions have displayed promising results, with potential CPM increases of up to 40% on iOS devices. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that these identity solutions are often based on publisher-provided identifiers, such as email addresses or phone numbers. 

Additionally, many of these solutions are not currently allowed for use within the European market due to GDPR regulations.

The Industry Insights Report reveals that during Black Friday 2023, over a third of auctions from publishers with more than 100.000  impressions during this day encountered issues with User IDs not passing through the auction. This serves as a crucial reminder to publishers that despite integrating User IDs, multiple factors might prevent their consistent transmission to Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs).

Most Used User IDs in Programmatic

Publisher's focus on quality with Demand Path Optimization

In the realm of Traffic Shaping and Supply Path Optimization, some SSPs like GumGum, Magnite, Sharethrough, and Pubmatic inspired publishers to embrace operations prioritizing cleaner, more sustainable traffic.

This momentum is intensifying as advertisers increasingly pursue green campaigns, solidifying the industry’s dedication to achieving Ad Net Zero goals. A key trend among SSPs (Supply Side Platforms) and DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) is the shift towards more cost-effective and efficient operations. An example would be TradeDesk’s Open Path initiative.

On the publisher front, there’s an increasing emphasis on harnessing first-party data in new, innovative ways, especially using lookalike modeling, while also refining partnerships for enhanced efficiency and improved personalization. 

Ready to boost your strategy in 2024 with these programmatic insights?

As we transition into 2024, publishers should prioritize diversifying their revenue streams, particularly in light of impending changes related to third-party cookies. Embracing innovative AI strategies and ad tech, optimizing programmatic strategies, and continued investment in high-quality, engaging content will be key to success.

Download the “2024 Publisher Trends: Global Programmatic & Ad Revenue” for more detailed insights. By immersing yourself in these findings, you can equip yourself with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions for the future success of your revenue strategy.

Frequently asked questions

What are the main insights about the programmatic industry in 2023?

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* While 2023 presented challenges for the programmatic display open market, it concluded on an optimistic note, fostering anticipation for a better performance in 2024. * Indications for a transformation in the SSP market are rising, with Tier 1 SSPs changing their business model, and newer competitors generating good CPMs with specific tech.

What are the trends for the programmatic industry in 2024?

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Main trends include the third-party cookie depreciation from January 2024. A reassessment and verification of user IDs may be necessary, as a significant percentage of auctions are experiencing a shortfall in obtaining user IDs, despite their implementation.

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