More than half (55%) of Australia's digital media was traded programmatically in 2019, according to Zenith's programmatic marketing forecast

The ROI agency expects that trend to continue, projecting that 69% of digital media will be programmatic next year. Programmatic spending is expected to surpass $100 billion for the first time this year.

The agency projects that programmatic spending will reach $127 billion in 2020 and $147 billion in 2021. By then, 72% of digital media will be programmatic.

The US and the UK have the most advanced programmatic markets, with 82% and 87% of digital media being traded programmatically in 2019. By 2021, Zenith projects that France, Denmark and Germany will have more than 80% of digital media being traded programmatically. 

In the US, the programmatic market reached $67 billion in 2019 and accounts for 64% of all programmatic adspend. In 2020, the US is expected to account for 56% of all new programmatic ad dollars.

China is following closely behind, with $10 billion contributed in 2019. The UK contributed $7 billion this year.

In China, programmatic ad spending will only account for 30% of digital media adspend, but Zenith projects that in 2021, programmatic will account for 41% of digital media adspend. That year, the agency expects spending to hit $16 billion.

Although more digital media is being traded programmatically, ad spending overall is slowing due to privacy and supply-chain issues.

The agency expects programmatic growth to continue in Australia in 2010, as more SEO services in Brisbane and Malborne begin offering programmatic services. But the industry will face challenges in the coming years, according to Zenith's report.

"Although programmatic adspend continues to grow at double-digit rates, it is being hindered as the industry struggles with privacy and supply-chain challenges," says Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. "Once these challenges have been addressed, programmatic marketing has the potential to accelerate again during the next decade."

One of the primary challenges the industry faces is privacy concerns. Zenith says companies will need to develop technology and processes that address privacy while offering the benefits of personalization and targeting. 

Legislation is making more personal data unavailable, and more browsers are blocking third-party cookies. Programmatic advertising relies on the cookie for targeting, retargeting and measurement.

Supply chain issues are further impeding programmatic growth. According to Zenith, the supply path is crowded by ad tech companies that provide unknown value due to lack of transparency.