In 2011, a seminal article came out claiming that software is eating the world. Well, in advertising, we like to say programmatic is eating the world. It’s taking over.

The rapid-fire development of programmatic has been astonishing. And the future may at times sound more like science fiction. But to us, this is no fantasy, this is a future rich with possibilities.

In 2010 when programmatic began, it was almost exclusively display. But now, as more and more different media types are coming on board—mobile, native, video, even billboards—we’re seeing a tremendous opportunity to figure out how to offer diverse media types programmatically because of the inherent efficiency and scale benefits.


So what other media types are on the horizon? We’re looking at questions like: how do you monetize voice data like Alexa? Or what about The Internet of things (IoT)? As loT projects go from concepts to reality, enabling, for example, your refrigerator to learn what you are eating and automatically order groceries, loT will become another significant data source to consider. Or what about the potential data coming from automobiles, those moving data farms? We’ll need to be ready for all these types of data coming on board.

And let’s just look at the sheer explosion of data. Back in the day, we used to talk about global internet traffic in terms of gigabytes per day, then we went to gigabytes per hour, now we’re talking about gigabytes or even terabytes per second.

This harkens back, in part, to Moore’s law, a computing term created by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 who observed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits—or the overall processing power of computers—had doubled every year since their invention. Moore’s law predicts that this trend will continue. Although the pace has slowed, the number of transistors per square inch has since doubled approximately every 18 months.

What does that mean for us today? Well, for one, Moore’s law—this doubling and doubling and doubling again of computer power—is helping to drive artificial intelligence. That helps explain why self-driving cars are coming along faster than most experts predicted. We expect to see artificial intelligence in the programmatic world emerging as a major trend.

So, put this all together, with the skyrocketing of computing power, with AI, with the incremental data we are gaining access to, you’ll also hear us continue to talk about our push to drive better and more precise targeting, analytics and attribution. Because if harnessing future data sources is one opportunity, being able to extract actionable meaning from that data is yet another.