This post is part of a series exploring trends in Programmatic Direct. You can learn more about these trends and create your own charts by vertical and industry in our interactive spotlight, The State of Programmatic Direct.

Out of all the Programmatic Direct impressions that were bought and sold globally on DoubleClick Ad Exchange over a 15-month period (up until December 2015), more than a quarter occurred in EMEA. Within that slice of the global pie, we saw incredible diversity in how programmatic advertising was bought, sold and consumed — a diversity that mirrored the cultural and technological landscape of EMEA itself. Here, we’ll introduce some of the most exciting DoubleClick data and analyse what it may mean for publishers, advertisers and users.

Impressions: in step with global growth

In the 15-month timeframe, Programmatic Direct impressions across EMEA more than doubled. Germany, Italy, and the UK produced the highest amount of total impressions, contributing to roughly half of all impressions in EMEA. Ukraine, Turkey and Spain drove tremendous growth, with their Programmatic Direct impressions more than doubling in just 12 months.

The adoption of Programmatic Direct reflects the overall tech profiles of EMEA countries: while Germany, Italy and the UK are already well established in the ad tech landscape, parts of Southern and Eastern Europe are just now getting on board and may have significant potential for rapid growth.

Platforms: you can take it with you

Desktop may have been a popular platform on which to buy, but its share of the programmatic pie decreased by more than 15% from December 2014 to December 2015 as advertisers and publishers followed the consumer trend to mobile.

In the 15-month period we analysed, mobile web's share of impressions in EMEA more than doubled. When we looked at the data for impressions on tablet web, what was fascinating wasn’t how fast they grew, but how they compared to the rest of the world. Tablet web accounted for more than 10% of all EMEA impressions – about 45% higher than the global average.

Categories: the key content to monetise

What are all these users doing on their smartphones and tablets? The most rapidly growing publisher verticals are Books & Literature, Beauty & Fitness and Hobbies & Leisure. Perhaps this growth is related to the trend in these industries for consumers to look for immediate advice and tips online; for example, the use of online reviews and video tutorials about beauty products, the popularity of wearable devices in the fitness industry, and the success of eSports and game streaming sites in the computers and electronics industry.

News and Arts & Entertainment publishers connected with buyers in strong numbers, accounting for 30% of Programmatic Direct impressions on DoubleClick Ad Exchange (on par with global trends). This is quite possibly a case of advertisers seeking out the premium content that News and Arts & Entertainment publishers often have to offer.

Of particular interest in EMEA, the Computers & Electronics vertical grew more than 35% faster than the rest of the world. As with the percentages for tablet web, this could indicate a greater willingness for EMEA consumers to spend on consumer electronics in comparison to the rest of the world — and advertisers’ eagerness to use Programmatic Direct to reach those consumers.

A rapidly changing tech-scape

When analysing the Programmatic Direct data coming out of EMEA, it’s fascinating to see just how much has changed in the past two years. The growth in some countries has been dramatic, while other countries are yet to reach programmatic maturity. Mobile is showing remarkable growth as more users turn to their smartphones and tablets to get everyday information and make on-the-go decisions. The programmatic space has become a lot more advanced with new deal types and a growing breadth of functionalities. We’re seeing more and more brand advertisers and agencies making Programmatic Direct a key part of their strategies.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the data and give you the most important facts and figures in this space. You can also visit our new interactive report, The State of Programmatic Direct, to gain a comprehensive global overview and create customised charts based on the regions, platforms and verticals most relevant to you. For more information on how Programmatic Direct helps connect buyers and sellers of digital advertising, check out The buyer’s guide to Programmatic Direct.

* All data cited in this article is taken from internal DoubleClick Ad Exchange data from October 2014 to December 2015