China Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending

Demand for Brand Safety and Quality Inventory Drives Programmatic Investment

Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending

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About This Report
Programmatic advertising will account for 71.0% of the digital display ad market in China this year. Mobile programmatic growth, as well as gains in private marketplaces and programmatic direct play a role. This report features our latest programmatic display forecast for China and explores these and other factors shaping the market through 2021.

Executive Summary

In China, programmatic display ad spending will grow 29.3% in 2019, reaching $31.35 billion (RMB207.43 billion). This year, 71.0% of digital display advertising will be traded programmatically.

How much is programmatic advertising set to grow in China?

Again, programmatic display ad spending in China will grow 29.3% from 2018. Growth will remain strong through our forecast period—25.2% in 2020 and 20.0% in 2021.

How much is spent on real-time bidding (RTB) vs. programmatic direct?

In 2019, RTB will account for 31.4% of programmatic digital display ad spending in China, while programmatic direct comprises the remaining 68.6%. Open exchange and private marketplace (PMP) ad spending will make up roughly equal shares of total programmatic ad spending—15.9% and 15.5%, respectively. During the forecast period, PMP’s share will rise at the expense of the open markets.

How big is the mobile programmatic advertising market in China?

Mobile programmatic digital display ad spending will rise 30.3% to $27.36 billion (RMB181.03 billion) in 2019. And it will account for the lion’s share of programmatic display ad spending, at 87.3%. Mobile’s share of programmatic display will reach 89.0% by 2021.

How much will be spent on programmatic video advertising?

Programmatic digital video ad spending in China makes up 20.2% of programmatic display ad spend, or $6.34 billion (RMB41.95 billion) this year. Today, slightly over half (55.0%) of all digital video ad dollars transact programmatically—a portion that will rise slightly to 56.5% by 2021.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our updated estimates for programmatic digital display ad spending in China, including breakouts by transaction type and device. It also explores recent trends in the market.

KEY STAT: We forecast that programmatic digital display ad spending in China will reach $31.35 billion (RMB207.43 billion) in 2019, with the majority of transactions being made via programmatic direct.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Programmatic Ad Spending Outlook
  3. Programmatic Direct
  4. Real-Time Bidding
  1. Mobile Programmatic Ad Spending
  2. Programmatic Video Ad Spending
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Fang Cai
Yoyi Digital
Chief Operating Officer
Interviewed October 17, 2019
Calvin Chan
The Trade Desk
General Manager, China
Interviewed October 15, 2019
Doug Choy
The Trade Desk
Senior Director, Inventory Partnerships, North Asia
Interviewed October 15, 2019
Andy Fan
Interviewed October 17, 2019
Arndt Groth
Interviewed July 29, 2019
Lisa Guo
Managing Director, China
Interviewed October 17, 2019
Doudou Li
Head of Digital and Data, Team L’Oréal
Interviewed August 19, 2019
Eric Weng
Dentsu Aegis Network
Chief Product Officer and Head of Programmatic
Interviewed July 9, 2019
Yu Yongyi
Miaozhen System
Head of Academy of Marketing Science
Interviewed August 17, 2019


Man-Chung Cheung


Ross Benes
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Nazmul Islam
Junior Forecasting Analyst

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