What Is Programmatic Video Advertising: Strategies, Benefits And Latest Trends

Pietro Castellani
April 30, 2024
What Is Programmatic Video Advertising: Strategies, Benefits And Latest Trends

In today's mobile user acquisition, where online video consumption continues to soar, advertisers are constantly seeking innovative ways to capture audience attention and drive meaningful engagement. 

Let’s introduce programmatic video advertising – a revolutionary approach that leverages data-driven automation to deliver highly targeted and personalized video ads across various digital platforms. 

This cutting-edge technology not only streamlines the ad buying process but also enables advertisers to reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, maximizing the impact of their marketing efforts. 

As brands navigate the ever-evolving landscape of digital advertising, understanding the power and potential of programmatic video advertising is crucial for staying ahead in the market. 

  1. What is programmatic video advertising
  2. Types of programmatic video ads
  3. Advantages and challenges of programmatic video advertising
  4. Emerging trends in programmatic video advertising
  5. Conclusion

What is programmatic video advertising

Programmatic video advertising has revolutionized the digital advertising landscape by automating the process of buying and selling video ad inventory in real-time through sophisticated algorithms and technology platforms. 

This method replaces the traditional “manual” process, offering advertisers a more efficient and targeted approach to reach their audience across various digital channels. 

Programmatic video advertising leverages data insights and machine learning algorithms to deliver personalized and relevant video ads to consumers based on their demographics, interests, behaviors and possibly also browsing history. 

This level of precision targeting enables advertisers to maximize their ad spend and achieve higher ROI by reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. 

At its core, programmatic video advertising operates on a complex ecosystem that involves multiple stakeholders, including advertisers, publishers, ad exchanges, demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), and data management platforms (DMPs). 

Advertisers utilize DSPs to set their campaign objectives, target audience criteria and bidding strategies, while publishers make their video ad inventory available through SSPs. 

When a user visits a website or app with available ad space, an automated auction process occurs in real-time through ad exchanges, where advertisers bid for the opportunity to display their video ads to the user. The winning bid is determined based on factors such as ad relevance, bid price and targeting criteria, and the ad is instantly served to the user's device. 

Types of programmatic video ads

Programmatic video advertising encompasses various types of video ads designed to engage audiences across digital platforms. 

  • One prevalent type is In-stream ads, which appear before, during or after video content, seamlessly integrated into the user experience. Pre-roll ads, for example, play before the main video content and are typically 15 to 30 seconds long, capturing viewers' attention before they consume the desired content. These in-stream ads offer advertisers prime real estate to capture viewers' attention when they are most engaged, ensuring higher visibility and engagement rates. 
  • Another type of programmatic video ad is Out-stream ads, which play outside of video content, such as within articles or as interstitials between app activities. Out-stream ads auto-play in a muted format, grabbing users' attention as they scroll through content. These ads often include interactive elements like click-to-play sound or calls-to-action, driving higher engagement and interaction rates. 
  • Overlay ads are a popular format within programmatic video advertising, appearing as transparent layers over video content without interrupting the viewing experience. These ads typically feature text, images, or interactive elements, enticing viewers to engage without disrupting their video consumption. Overlay ads are highly effective for driving brand awareness and engagement, as they seamlessly blend into the user experience while delivering targeted messaging to the audience. 
  • Interactive ads represent another innovative type of programmatic video ad, offering viewers an immersive and engaging experience beyond passive viewing. These ads allow users to interact with the content, such as clicking on hotspots, playing mini-games or exploring product features within the ad itself. 
  • In addition to these types, programmatic video advertising includes Native video ads, which seamlessly integrate into the surrounding content, matching the look and feel of the platform on which they appear. Native video ads blend into the user experience, avoiding disruption while delivering targeted messaging to the audience. These ads are highly effective for driving engagement and brand affinity, as they resonate with viewers in a natural and non-intrusive manner.

Advantages and challenges of programmatic video advertising

Programmatic video advertising offers numerous advantages, the main three to be enhanced targeting capabilities, increased efficiency and improved campaign performance. 

  • Targeting: by leveraging data insights and machine learning algorithms, programmatic video advertising enables advertisers to precisely target their desired audience.
  • Efficiency: programmatic technology automates the buying and selling of video ad inventory in real-time, streamlining the ad buying process and reducing manual intervention, thus saving time and resources for advertisers. 
  • Campaign performance: programmatic video advertising provides greater transparency and control over campaigns, allowing advertisers to track performance metrics in real-time and optimize their strategies accordingly, leading to higher ROI and better overall campaign outcomes. 
  • Engagement: programmatic video ads are more engaging than other format, increasing campaign’ conversion rates

However, programmatic video advertising also presents several challenges that advertisers must navigate to maximize its effectiveness. 

  • Ad fraud: refers to the invalid traffic generated by bots or fraudulent activities designed to inflate ad impressions or clicks artificially. 
  • Brand safety: programmatic advertising may inadvertently place ads alongside inappropriate or harmful content, potentially damaging brand reputation. 
  • Complexity of the programmatic ecosystem: with multiple stakeholders and intermediaries involved in the ad buying process, can lead to inefficiencies and discrepancies in ad delivery and reporting. 
  • Cost: programmatic video ads cost way more than banner for example

Despite these challenges, the advantages of programmatic video advertising outweigh the drawbacks, as it enables advertisers to reach their target audience with relevant and engaging video content at scale, driving brand awareness, engagement and conversions in today's digital landscape.

Emerging trends in programmatic video advertising

Several emerging trends are shaping the landscape of programmatic video advertising, offering advertisers new opportunities to engage audiences and drive campaign performance. 

One notable trend is the increasing adoption of connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) advertising within the programmatic ecosystem. 

As more consumers shift towards streaming services for their entertainment needs, advertisers are leveraging programmatic technology to target viewers on CTV and OTT platforms, delivering personalized and relevant video ads directly to their living room screens. 

This trend enables advertisers to reach audiences in a lean-back, immersive environment while capitalizing on the targeting capabilities and efficiency of programmatic video advertising. 

Multi-page ads is a new trend where videos are combined with other formats such as playable ads, used to increase users’ conversion rate. 

The rise of data-driven creative optimization is transforming how advertisers develop and deliver video ad content. 

By leveraging data insights and artificial intelligence, advertisers can dynamically personalize video ads in real-time based on factors such as viewer demographics, interests, and behaviors. 

This trend allows advertisers to deliver more relevant and engaging video content to their target audience, driving higher engagement and conversion rates. 

The convergence of programmatic and linear TV advertising is blurring the lines between traditional and digital media buying, as advertisers seek to unify their TV and digital ad strategies through advanced audience targeting and measurement capabilities. 

This trend enables advertisers to extend the reach of their TV campaigns while leveraging the precision and accountability of programmatic video advertising. 

As programmatic technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see further innovation in areas such as advanced targeting capabilities, cross-device attribution and enhanced measurement and analytics tools. 


In conclusion, programmatic video advertising has emerged as a powerful tool in the digital marketing landscape, offering advertisers unprecedented precision, efficiency and reach. 

By harnessing the capabilities of data-driven automation, advertisers can deliver targeted messages to specific audiences, optimize campaign performance in real-time and drive greater ROI. 

As technology continues to evolve and consumer behaviors shift, embracing programmatic video advertising will be essential for brands seeking to stay competitive and effectively engage their target audiences in the digital marketplace.