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What we learned about programmatic from studying the ads.txt files of Australia’s top domains

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Zenith’s latest programmatic marketing forecast predicts over two-thirds of Australian digital display ad spend will be bought through programmatic platforms by 2020. The report also expects that the total programmatic ad spend will rise to $2.92bn by next year.

But the prediction is far from answering any specific questions. What percentage of publishers are actually using programmatic channels to sell their impressions? Who is the preferred monetization partner?

So, we decided to take a look at the state of programmatic selling in Australia by studying the ads.txt files of the top 2000 domains in the country.


We compiled the top 2000 Alexa domains in Australia and removed the sites that belong to walled gardens like Google, Facebook, Snap, etc. We also excluded the non-brand safe content sites, .gov and .edu domains, and brand sites before running the analysis. After all that, we were left with 1,626 publishers to crawl. We built the ads.txt crawler in-house and used it to run the analysis.

Percentage of publishers using programmatic

Of 1,626 publishers, 626 have an ads.txt file hosted on their servers.

Media buyers have the ability to exclude publishers without ads.txt files. Google’s Display & Video 360, one of the biggest demand-side platforms in the........

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