More Brands Are Using Real-Time Bidding to Buy Ads: Report

AT&T is the top spender in first half of 2013

Just as interest in native advertising keeps growing, more brands are also exploring the other side of the coin: programmatic advertising.

The number of brands using real-time bidding (a method of purchasing ads programmatically) increased by 69 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013, according to a report from Casale Media subsidiary Index. 

CPMs for this type of ad buying are increasing, too, which Casale Media chief marketing officer Julia Casale-Amorim attributed to increased competition for inventory sold programmatically. The average clear price increased 11 percent between Q1 and Q2 of 2013, the report said. 

AT&T was the top brand in terms of spending on RTB in the first two quarters of the year, according to the report, with General Motors and Toyota taking the No. 2 and No 3. spots, respectively. But the top advertising sector by market share was retail, per the report, with telecom and auto following behind.

"It's really a growth story," Casale-Amorim said of the data. "I think it just kind of underscores the reality that programmatic is really here to stay, and it's going to continue to become a more important channel as time goes on."

AOL has made a bet that the ad industry is increasingly moving toward programmatic. The company went so far as to hold a programmatic upfront during Advertising Week in New York in an effort to court buyers. But some digital publishers out there are wary of fully embracing programmatic for fear that it makes their direct sales irrelevant.

Read the full report here.

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