Programmatic buying is driving the German display market

Sep 08, 2014 1:11 PM

Price level in the first half of 2014 is 34% higher than it was in the same period last year / Branding campaigns are increasingly being booked via real-time bidding / Newly introduced “fly ad” generates a click rate of 0.79% right from the start

Programmatic buying is setting the pace in the German digital advertising market, as the automated buying and selling of ad space is growing at a considerably faster rate than manual sales. According to adscale’s forecast, the proportion of total revenues in the German display advertising market generated via RTB will rise to about 18% by the end of 2014. In the prior year, RTB accounted for 13% of this market. Taken together, the trends of real-time-bidding, increasingly professional targeting, and strong demand for video advertising are causing prices to rise. In the first half of 2014, the average cost per mille (CPM) on adscale was 34% higher than it was in the same period last year. These are the results of the current adscale Analyzer 2014 (

New targeting options are driving prices

The development of prices within the adscale marketplace is following the trend of prior years, as the level of online advertising prices on this wide-reach platform has risen con-tinuously. There are several reasons for this development. First, advertisers are making greater use of real-time bidding (RTB) for purchasing ad space. This trend is accompanied by rising cost per mille (CPM) rates, but also by increased campaign efficiency. The aver-age CPM of ad space purchased via RTB is generally up to 40% higher than the average CPM of campaigns booked without RTB. Second, the proportion of advertising campaigns devoted to attention-grabbing, but also high-priced formats continues to grow. Thanks to improved targeting options, moreover, advertisers are only buying the ad impressions of relevant users. This trend drives up the CPM for ad space buyers, but it also minimizes scatter losses significantly. “In general, central campaign KPIs can be optimised by means of control mechanisms such as profile and predictive targeting, so that the higher CPM rate is not costing advertisers more, on balance,” explained Markus Letzner, Managing Director of adscale.

Layer ads generate above-average click rates

On the level of individual advertising formats, the layer ad generates an especially high click rate of 3.2%. The fly ad, as a special form of layer ad that is just now being assessed, is also performing well, with an average click-through rate of 0.79%. The click rates of IAB standard formats range from 0.07% to 0.12%, unchanged from the year-ago period. However, standard formats are becoming somewhat more expensive, because advertisers’ bookings increasingly stipulate targeting criteria.

The adscale Analyzer also illuminates trends in the segment of online video advertising. Video continues to be a dynamic growth segment in the online market, which typically hits its high point in the fourth quarter. Therefore, adscale expects demand to rise sharply again from October onward. Video is becoming relevant for a growing number of economic sec-tors. As in prior periods, adscale sees the highest demand coming from the sectors of au-tomotive, entertainment, insurance, and finance, which together accounted for more than half of video ad space sales in the marketplace last year.

Effective immediately, all information on the development of the online advertising market is available free of charge for download at

Survey method
The calculations presented in the adscale Analyzer are based on real-time data from the online exchange’s database, which reflect both the supply and the actual bookings made on the exchange. The objective of the survey is to enhance market transparency for online advertising. With a current reach of 8.5 billion ad impressions per month and 41.3 million unique visitors (73.7% of German Internet users according to comScore, July 2014), as well as a portfolio of approximately 5,000 websites, adscale Analyzer has the ability to de-tect industry-relevant trends and developments. Development within the exchange is not necessarily identical to the development of the overall market.

To obtain a copy of selected graphics from adscale Analyzer 2014, please contact

About adscale:
adscale is the leading marketplace for digital advertising in Germany. As part of the Ströer Group, this company offers advertisers and website owners a transparent exchange for digital advertising space with an extensive reach – from classic display advertising materials and special ad formats to video advertising and mobile. By leveraging cooperation agreements with prestigious AGOF-affiliated marketers and by collaborating with all major media agencies, direct customers, and third-party suppliers, adscale combines reach with quality. In addition, business partners of the company benefit from different optimization technologies (targeting, real-time bidding) and a fair price/performance ratio. The adscale portfolio includes approximately 5,000 websites and reaches 73.7% of Internet users in Germany and 41.3 million unique visitors (comScore, July 2014) with online display advertising. Matthias Pantke, Stephan Kern and Markus Letzner manage the com-pany’s business activities. For more information visit