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Programmatic Trends In 2022: Everything You Need To Know

Programmatic advertising is a continually evolving and changing technology, and new trends are constantly emerging while older methods fall by the wayside. Third-party cookies are falling away, while new, hyper-relevant targeting methods are set to give advertisers and publishers a new way to find customers and boost revenue. Staying on top of the latest trends can help you position your campaigns or ads in a way that will deliver the best possible results.

In this article, we’ll look at top trends, including:

  • Connected TV.
  • User data protection and the fall of third-party cookies.
  • Programmatic ads on gaming platforms and consoles.
  • Campaign management tools.
  • Programmatic audio ads.
  • Hyper-relevant programmatic ads.
  • Ethical advertising.

CTV (Connected TV) Will Continue To Rise

The use of Connected TV or CTV ads are rising in popularity, and that’s a trend that’s likely to continue throughout, if not dominate, 2022. During 2020, CTV ad spend increased by 40.6% and again by another 59.9% during 2021. According to eMarketer, that trend will continue, eventually seeing the total ad spend nearly hitting $30 billion by 2024.

That said, there are several factors that advertisers need to consider. With CTV programmatic advertising, advertisers have access to multiple devices, streaming services, consoles, smart devices, and other platforms. More importantly, each of these have their own requirements and capabilities, so advertisers need to consider their options extremely carefully to take advantage of Connected TV and its advertising potential.

User Data Protection And The Death Of The Third-Party Cookie

Protection of personal data and the emphasis on user privacy has been a growing trend over the last few years. Consequently, many platforms are changing how users are targeted to protect their privacy. Even search giant, Google, is planning to phase out third-party cookies. However, as Google has delayed the phasing out of third-party cookies to 2023, they’re still a key component in many programmatic advertising strategies.

That said, it’s clear that cookies will eventually be gone for good. Advertisers and publishers should embrace alternative targeting solutions to protect their traffic and revenue. Several new technologies are under development as platforms, ad providers, and search engines look for new ways to show users relevant ads.

Growth Of Programmatic Advertising On Gaming Platforms

A little over a decade ago, gaming was considered a hobby. A few years later, young gamers started a trend, flocking to content platforms to showcase their skills with little thought that it could ever become a viable source of income. Not long after, eSports, streaming, and “Let’s Plays” started to show that the trend might not have been such a temporary fad as many thought.

Today, there are approximately 3.24 billion gamers in the world - that’s 41% of the world’s population! More importantly, the gaming advertising industry has exploded in recent years and now makes up almost 50% of total industry ad spend - a good portion of which goes to mobile game programmatic ads.

The continually growing popularity of mobile games affords advertisers valuable opportunities. Additionally, several platforms have started to experiment with programmatic ads by expanding TV ads to console and PC games - a trend that’s likely to continue this year. Advertisers can seize extremely lucrative opportunities by expanding programmatic advertising campaigns to reach across all these platforms.

Access To Better Campaign Management Tools

Transparency and control are critical to both publishers and advertisers. Consequently, many are looking to work with ad tech providers who understand those needs. Offering easy-to-use campaign management dashboards and tools with quality features and capabilities is an essential programmatic advertising trend!

Advertisers can use these tools to glean insights regarding the performance of their ads, spot excellent opportunities, and identify the top sources of valuable traffic. Similarly, publishers can use these tools to enhance their ad placements, identify potential partners for deals, and improve revenue generation. 

Prepare For The Meteoric Rise Of Programmatic Audio

As online podcasts and music streaming popularity continue to rise, programmatic audio will likely follow that trend. In fact, figures already indicate that it’s a viable and rewarding way for advertisers to reach their audience. It’s also highly profitable for content publishers. In 2021, revenue from podcast programmatic ads was projected to hit $1 billion - and that number will likely increase in the next few years.

That said, it’s still a relatively new approach to programmatic ads, and few platforms can offer these to advertisers or content creators. Despite this, now is an excellent time for forward-thinking advertisers to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity before facing an explosive influx of competition.

Shift From Hyper-Personalized To Hyper-Relevant

For several years, advertisers have focused on providing users with personalized ads that target them based on browsing habits. In short, programmatic ads typically show users creatives for services or products based on an overall evaluation of their habits and interests. Unfortunately, while personalization can be effective, it can still miss the mark. Additionally, with the looming death of third-party cookies, it’s time to look for a different approach:

Hyper-relevant targeting.

A hyper-personalized approach focuses on the big picture, while a hyper-relevant approach focuses on what users need or are looking for right now. Examples of relevance-based targeting include:

  • Contextual Advertising
  • Geofencing (Location-based)

These programmatic ads show ads based on a user’s current location, interests, or needs. Consequently, they tend to be far more effective while being displayed next to relevant content.

Continued Emphasis On Ethical Advertising

Ethical advertising isn’t a particularly new topic, particularly when it comes to programmatic advertising. Programmatic ads hold a wealth of potential opportunities for advertisers and publishers, but also several challenges; brand reputation and safety, ad fraud, and ads appearing on unscrupulous sites or content - and vice versa.

In 2020, The Brand Safety Institute conducted a survey that discovered:

  • 87% of users want advertisers to ensure their ads don’t appear on inappropriate, offensive, violent, or similar content.
  • 66% feel that it’s the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure their ads don’t appear on such sites or content. Another 59% and 42% attribute the responsibility to the ad tech provider and website owner, respectively.

In short, users demand that everyone in the programmatic advertising ecosystem needs to be held accountable. Publishers and advertisers must prioritize the safety of their users, vetting ads, sites, and content to ensure ads reach the correct audience without offending the people or negatively affecting a brand’s reputation.

Publishers and advertisers need to work with reputable providers who thoroughly vet both the sites of their publishers and the ads of their partners.


With 2022 already underway, now is a critical time for advertisers and publishers to take action and adapt their programmatic advertising strategies. It’s vital to consider existing and future trends to craft a compelling strategy. More importantly, working with a capable, experienced, and future-ready ad tech services provider and partner can make a significant difference, allowing you to unlock hidden opportunities and boost your revenue.

Frédéric is a digital advertising performance expert and the Director of rev•amp at Softonic. As a business unit leader, Fréderic is responsible for the monetization and the success of the Softonic Publisher Network. Within rev•amp, Fréderic oversees Product, Business Development, and Account Management functions.
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