Advertisers favor closed and private ecosystems for access to data and premium inventory

Ad spending is increasing across all transaction types, but growth rates are higher for programmatic direct and private marketplaces (PMPs). Here’s what’s behind the trend:

  • Retail media networks are exploding. With third-party data signals dwindling, advertisers are swarming around the first-party consumer data and closed-loop attribution offered by retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
  • Major publishers are betting on direct sales.Those with premium content, like Bloomberg, are opting to take their inventory off the open exchange. While this may dampen ad revenues in the short term, Bloomberg is investing in its user experience by ensuring ad quality.
  • Buyers are integrating more directly with sellers. Demand-side platform The Trade Desk made headlines launching its OpenPath initiative in February 2022, which it said had generated interest from over 100 premium publishers within a few months. Agencies like GroupM, Havas, and Horizon Media are also optimizing supply paths through partnerships with major supply-side platforms for inventory curation and identity resolution.

What will change now: Momentum is building toward a more transparent—and therefore, more efficient—programmatic ecosystem. Publishers, which have historically been incentivized to make their inventory available through as many supply paths as possible to boost revenues, will start to see demand dry up if they don’t fall in line.