Ad spending Advertisers Programmatic Publishers

Programmatic Advertising vs Direct Buying

December 10, 2021 3 min read
Ad Tech: Programmatic Advertising vs Direct Buying | VDO.AI


Programmatic Advertising vs Direct Buying

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With the onset of advertising on connected TV and streaming platforms, advertisers are now slowly moving towards automated solutions and strategies to fasten up the process. While some advertisers are adopting and leveraging programmatic advertising, many are still continuing with direct buying. 

In the growing digital marketing era, publishers and advertisers are still trying to identify whether programmatic advertising is profitable for them. While programmatic advertising is booming, it doesn’t indicate that direct buying is eradicated totally.

We cannot deny the fact that ad buying is complex with growing streaming platforms. So, for advertisers and publishers it’s important not to ignore which type of solution can provide them with better results in terms of reach, targeting, and revenue.

Before jumping on which method advertisers and publishers should choose, let’s first understand the concepts of direct buying and programmatic buying advertising.

Direct Buying 

Direct buying is a traditional media buying method used to find the right publishers by cracking direct deals. Right from the time when the internet came into existence, advertisers have been aligned with direct buying.

Direct Buying involves manually finding the right publishers, negotiating rates and IO details with that specific publisher, then optimizing the campaigns through a third-party ad server. Basically, advertisers have to manage the end goal that leads to the ad being appropriately served on the chosen platform.

Pros of Direct Buying

  • In Direct Buying, advertisers have a higher possibility to gain premium ad placement and more customization .
  • Advertisers can manually evaluate a platform before buying ad space. That will especially help advertisers with specific audiences to know whether their ad can reach their target audience or not.
  • Direct buys are guaranteed as advertisers get the inventory they paid for at the beginning. This method eliminates the situation of bidding in an unpredictable marketplace with leftover inventory, involving no certainty that you’ll win what you bid on.

Programmatic Ad Buying

Programmatic ad buying is the process of buying ad space through an automated process with speed and efficiency. In this method, ads are purchased in a real-time bidding auction in which numerous advertisers place bids at the same time, with the highest bidder taking the inventory slot.

Data insights and algorithms are used in programmatic media buying to show advertisements to the appropriate user at the right time and at the right price.

Pros of Programmatic Ad Buying

  • Programmatic guarantees speed and efficiency that saves time and money for advertisers and publishers. The automated process allows advertisers to bid in real-time on multiple websites.
  • Real-time data of ads allows advertisers to continually and swiftly adjust their ad campaigns depending on their performance.
  • It helps to increase ad efficiency by collecting data from thousands of individual users, which also benefits targeting the right audience at the right time.

What Is Better? Programmatic Advertising better or Direct Buying?

It is quite evident that both direct ad buys and programmatic advertising have their own benefits, where direct buying provides more customization possibilities, programmatic advertising doesn’t have any room for customization. 

Programmatic advertising is fully automated, it saves time, reduces human effort, automates routine tasks, and allows them to buy ad spaces across millions of websites. On the other hand, direct ad buying allows advertisers to manually evaluate an audience prior to ad delivery, allowing advertisers to test the effectiveness of their ad campaign before it goes live.

Direct buying provides publishers with access to large brands with massive budgets, which are difficult to come by in the programmatic world at this time. Hence, it is profitable for some publishers but it is costlier than programmatic advertising.

A recent forecast presented by eMarketer shows that US programmatic digital display ad spending will continue to grow and is expected to reach nearly $133 billion by 2023. This means that programmatic advertising will grow in the coming years because of its superior targeting possibilities.

For publishers and advertisers, it is better to evaluate costing for both methods and see what can drive more profits and revenue. Furthermore, if a publisher is limited by bandwidth, a middle ground solution might be the best bet: Programmatic Guaranteed, which combines the best of both worlds.

VDO.AI has been a leading player in serving advanced programmatic and direct buying solutions – helping publishers to maximize their revenue. Stop worrying about how to sell your inventory and amplify your revenue; reach out to VDO.AI today.

Ayushi Vedwan is a Strategic Marketing Associate at VDO.AI. She is a curious person who keeps learning something new and the rest of the time, she is dabbling with creative ideas.