Digital advertising has evolved a lot in recent years. Today, you don’t have to put up an ad and hope that it will get some relevant eyeballs.

Thanks to advancements like programmatic advertising, you can control exactly who sees and clicks on your ads. Do you want to target retail shoppers at a certain location while excluding the employees who work there? Believe it or not, you can do exactly that with the right software and a little know-how!

But, how does programmatic advertising work? Where do programmatic ads show?

In this article, we’ll answer those important questions and explain why programmatic advertising is so effective.

Let’s dive in.

Where Do Programmatic Ads Show?OTT Ads Icon

Programmatic ads appear on websites, mobile apps, video hosting platforms like YouTube, social media sites like Facebook, streaming services like Hulu, and even podcasts.

Note that programmatic ads are similar to the digital ads that we see everywhere online. The only difference is that they use a sophisticated algorithm to get in front of the right audience automatically.

What makes programmatic advertising so attractive is that it automates the ad-buying and ad-selling process, utilizing real-time bidding to optimize efficiency and placement.

Since there’s limited human involvement, the efficiency of this type of advertising tends to be much higher.

However, programmatic advertising does have its challenges, such as ads appearing on fake news sites and ad fraud.

The good thing is you can overcome these challenges with little intervention.

Types of Digital Environments

Let’s talk about “where do programmatic ads show” in more detail. Here are some popular digital environments where programmatic ads appear.


According to Statista, the total number of websites on the World Wide Web is touching the 2 Billion mark.

how many websites are there

Programmatic ads can appear on many of these sites through a third-party ad platform like Google Ads.

However, note that not every website owner participates in programmatic advertising.

Plus, ad placement depends on factors like website traffic, audience demographics, and the available inventory.

Mobile Apps

Another place where programmatic ads appear is mobile apps.

For instance, you might have seen ads appearing after every level on a gaming app such as Candy Crush.

Another example would be an ad that appears on a utility app such as Google Calendar while a user manages their schedule. Imagine how useful that would be for a B2B campaign! You can target people you want to book a meeting with while they are in their calendar planning the next week!

Also, platforms like Facebook and Instagram incorporate various types of ads on their mobile apps.

Video PlatformsConnected TV Icon

You may also feature ads through programmatic advertising on a video hosting platform like YouTube.

Ads on such websites appear before, within, and after the main videos.

Other video platforms that showcase programmatic ads include streaming services like Hulu and Roku.

Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest places to run programmatic ads.

Advertisers can’t ignore the number of eyeballs they can reach on these platforms.

The latest research indicates a consistent rise in social media usage worldwide.

Currently, there are more than 5 billion active social media users.

number of social media users

Programmatic ads on social media platforms can appear in a variety of locations and in different formats. From sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram to promoted tweets on Twitter, advertisers have multiple options to choose from.

Search Engines

Search engines like Google and Bing display ads at the top or bottom of organic search results.

Here’s how they work:What are Conversions?

An advertiser bids a certain amount on a keyword and wins the bid.

Their ad appears at the top of search results for that keyword.

Here’s an example:

Example of programmatic ad on search engines

This allows the advertiser to reach a targeted audience who is actively searching for products or services related to their business.

This method of advertising is known as pay-per-click (PPC), which means the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad.

With billions of searches made on search engines every day, PPC ads have the potential to reach a large number of eyeballs. In fact, Google alone processes over 3.5 billion searches per day!

With that out of the way, let’s talk about different types of programmatic ad placements.

Types of Programmatic Ads

Here are the types of programmatic ads businesses use to reach their target audience.

Display Ads

Display ads appear in different sizes and formats on digital spaces like websites and mobile apps.

The two common types of display ads are:

  • Banner ads: They appear at the top, bottom, or sides of a web page
  • Native ads: They match the feel and look of the surrounding content, which makes them less intrusive and more engaging

Video Ads

The second type of ads are in video format and appear on social media, video hosting sites, and streaming platforms.

As mentioned before, these can appear at the beginning (pre-roll), within (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the main video content. They’re also called in-stream video ads.

These ads can range from a few seconds to a couple of minutes and often have the option for users to skip after a certain amount of time.

Video ads are highly effective as they allow businesses to tell their story visually and engage with their audience in an immersive way.

They also have strong targeting capabilities, allowing businesses to reach specific demographics and interests.

Audio Ads

Programmatic ads can also be in audio form. They’re played within an audio clip, such as a podcast.

Like video ads, audio ads can also appear before, within, and after the main audio.

They’re known as pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll audio ads. These can vary in length but are typically 15-30 seconds long.

Audio ads are a great way for businesses to reach a highly engaged audience while they listen to their favorite podcasts or music.

In-App Ads

Lastly, advertisers can use programmatic advertising to feature their business on applications.

They usually appear at natural transition points within an app, such as within game levels.

Some free apps also feature video ads in exchange for rewards.

For instance, while playing a game, you may get a new life or more points by watching a small video ad.

Benefits of Programmatic Ad Placements

benefits of programmatic ads

Programmatic advertising offers numerous irresistible benefits for business owners.

Detailed Targeting

The advertising technology lets you target ads based on context. For instance, a hiking shoe ad could appear on a fitness website.

In addition, programmatic advertising utilizes users’ online behavior to personalize ad delivery.

For instance, a person who frequently visits traveling content might see ads for airline tickets. Another example would be seeing an ad for meal planning services after you go through the checkout at your grocery store.

Efficient and EffectiveMonetize icon

Programmatic advertising uses advanced technology to serve your ads automatically to the right audience.

It eliminates the manual process of buying and selling digital inventory.

Since there is minimal human involvement, it often results in better placement and targeting.

Ultimately, you can not only save your time but also improve your advertising ROI with real-time bidding.

Where Do Programmatic Ads Show: Conclusion

Programmatic advertising automates ad delivery and placement.

It manages the ad-buying and selling process, eliminating the need for you to create proposals and negotiate with publishers.

Plus, by using this technology, you’re able to showcase your ads contextually and target prospects based on their online activity.

You can use programmatic advertising to serve an ad on almost all digital platforms, including:

  • Websites of all types (eCommerce, social media, content, etc.)
  • Video hosting and streaming platforms (YouTube, Hulu, etc.)
  • Mobile applications

Moreover, these ads can appear in various forms, such as:

  • Display ads (Banners etc.)
  • In-stream video ads (Pre-roll, mild-roll, post-roll)
  • In-app ads (Images, videos, etc.)

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