The Programmatic Marketplace During COVID-19

COVID Part 2

For many, the summer months were a reprieve from springtime shutdowns and life spent largely indoors. States and cities opened up dining and gathering restrictions and some children even went back to school in person. But now cases are spiking as we slide into the holiday season and 2021 planning. What is an advertiser to do?

After our own short break, we are back with some fresh insights to help brands and their agencies meet their business goals as we continue life in pandemic mode.

Make purpose a differentiator for your brand.

Ensure that where and how you spend your advertising dollars reflect your brand’s values and purpose with Purpose-Driven Advertising, an initiative by MediaMath composed of products, services, and advocacy.

Holiday Ecommerce Spotlight

There’s good news in all of this—US ecommerce sales grew by nearly a third (31.8%) in Q2 from Q1, or 44.5% year over year, reports eMarketer. And 71% of US adults plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year, taking advantage of options like click and collect, expected to grow 60.4% this year, with sales reaching $58.52 billion.

For more holiday advertising tips, download our guide.

We are zooming out to look at our data from when the pandemic first began. As you can see, save a few sharp spikes, CPMs are netting out fairly close to where they started back in March. CTV CPMs are up 15% while CPMs for channels like audio and mobile video have actually gone down.


We are seeing a similar trend for impressions by category, with tech and computing, sports and hobbies and interests being the main categories of decline.
We are seeing spend trends for certain categories start to pick back up as the threat of more shutdowns looms:
  • Pharma was up 108%
  • Insurance was up 103%
  • Food was up 89%
  • Gambling was up 63%

We’re shedding light on what is going on in the programmatic marketplace to support brands and their agencies in identifying opportunities in the new situation and environment. The landscape will continue to shift in the coming days, weeks and months—we are here to partner with you and help you navigate.