SAN FRANCISCO — Publishers’ behind-the-scenes ground-laying is bubbling up to make this winter a blow-out season in advertisers’ embrace of automated video ad buying, says one founder at the epicenter of the trend.

“We’ve seen a lot of big publishers preparing for what they expect to be a very, very large Q4,” Mark Trefgarne, CEO of LiveRail, whose platform is responsible for helping a large proportion of premium publishers sell their inventory using programmatic techniques. “We’ve seen a lot of major publishers doing things like launch programmatic exchanges in preparation for Q4 to enable them to take advantage of programmatic budgets.”

News Corp in August unveiled its own initiative to let advertisers buy inventory from across its properties using the techniques, in which buyers automatically purchase slots reaching targeted demographics to pre-selected, guaranteed criteria rather than via human sales interactions.

Ad buyers’ greater quest for certainty is also fuelling the rise. Trefgarne cited unidentified research forecasting: “This year, research suggests that about 19% of video ad budgets will be executed programmatically. Next year, that’s expected to go to about 25% …  almost $1 billion of advertiser budgets.” Forrester projections for SpotXchange made similar forecasts this April.

The fortunes of ad tech vendors like LiveRail are riding on the growing trend. “We’ve more than tripled this year from a revenue standpoint, Trefgarne says.

LiveRail registered second to Google as the biggest video ad site according go comScore – see my report, based on the June comScore numbers.

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