CANNES, France — Use of so-called “programmatic” techniques for trading and controlling online ads may have started out with cheap ad slots, but has gradually risen to premium inventory, says one of the scene’s main tech outfits.

“You always see innovation happen at the bottom of the market, which is exactly what happened around the rise of RTB (real-time bidding) and open-auction,” says Project Rubicon‘s marketplace development SVP Jay Sears.

“But what you’ve seen is increasing investment and organisation around the order-automation piece, the private piece.”

He was speaking to Beet.TV during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Please find more Beet coverage of Cannes Lions here.