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Real Time Trading Trends in Europe

Real Time Trading Trends in Europe

While the United States leads the way with the adoption of automated trading, Europe is hot on its heels with the market experiencing substantial growth in the first half of 2012.

United Kingdom

The UK remains the largest European market for real time bidding spend with 513% year on year growth on Rubicon’s REVV platform.

Most premium publishers are now exposing their inventory in open auctions or private marketplace scenarios, giving preferential or exclusive access to selected buyers or opening up new inventory segments that were previously only available for direct premium campaigns.

RTB now represents more than 50% of a UK publisher’s indirect sales revenue and is forecast to reach 75% by December this year.

Future growth will come from increased private marketplace deals between publishers and buyers which will soon become enriched by publishers’ first party data entering the bid stream.

The Big Five on the Mainland

France experienced massive growth in the second quarter of 2012, growing by 49% on Q1 and is now almost about half the size of the UK market.

In Germany, attitudes towards programmatic trading appear to be shifting with more premium publishers starting to develop and roll out their real time trading strategies. As such, we’re forecasting significant growth in that market in the coming months.

Despite the strict laws passed in the Netherlands in response to the EU ‘cookie directive’, the market continued to grow with spend increasing by 34% quarter on quarter. Q3 growth will provide us with the first insights into how the opt-in rules affect the market.

And in Southern Europe, Italy is showing signs of maturity growing by 73% while Spain saw moderate growth of 26%.


The Scandinavian market has been slower than much of Europe in its adoption of RTB, however has shown strong signs of progress in the last 6 months with the launch of a number of local agency trading desks and other RTB enabled players entering the market.

Q2 on Q1, RTB spend in Finland grew by 150%, Denmark increased by 97%, Norway by 49% and Sweden, the largest market in the Nordics, grew by 42%.

Growth should accelerate in the coming months as more local publisher inventory is launched. The recently announced partnership between Rubicon Project and Stockholm-based Netric Sales will see 1.2 billion local publisher impressions per month become available in these markets.

These sites, such as nyheter24.se in Sweden and modette.no in Norway, bring with them local ad formats which have until now been unavailable for buyers through the automated channels.

Predictions for next three months:

-          More local publisher inventory becoming available through RTB in markets such as Germany, Spain, Italy and the Nordics.

-          Over the coming months we can expect to see publishers starting to expose first party data segments in the bid stream in private situations that will command much higher CPMs.

-          Continued growth in Private Marketplaces with publishers exposing more premium ad placement inventory.