This is the first in a series of analyst notes discussing our May 2021 US programmatic digital display ad forecast update.
Advertisers in the US will accelerate growth in their programmatic digital display ad investments this year as spending approaches $97 billion. That will represent a 29.0% increase over 2020 and will account for more than 89% of all digital display ad spending.
US programmatic digital display ad spending continued growing at double-digit rates during the pandemic, and we expect it to reach a milestone next year when more than 9 in 10 digital display ad dollars are transacted using some form of automation.
This forecast update, completed in May 2021, is a significant upward revision to our last set of estimates of US programmatic digital display ad spending, which we published in October 2020. Last October, we predicted US advertisers would spend $65.74 billion on programmatic digital display ads in 2020. We now estimate that they spent almost $10 billion more than that, $75.09 billion. The upward revision for this year is even greater—more than $15 billion.
There are two reasons for our much more positive revised outlook for programmatic display: