Programmatic direct is rapidly growing segment of advertising, and according to a new eMarketer report, is poised to grow even more dramatically over the next two years:

eMarketerProgrammatic ads are purchased via two main methods: real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic direct. Growth is currently driven by RTB—the auction-based approach to programmatic advertising in which digital display ads are transacted in real time, at the impression level.

However, eMarketer sees significant growth coming from programmatic direct, which will reach $8.57 billion in spending by 2016 to represent 42.0% of programmatic ad expenditure in the US.

We’ve known the market for programmatic direct is still relatively young, but this new report gives us a timeline for this new market’s maturation. The market has been slow to shift  because programmatic direct, specifically when it comes to reserved media, touches publishers’ primary source of revenue. With so much at stake, it’s not surprising that the top publishers have taken time to do their due diligence. Buyers, too, have long-standing buying systems in place, which need to be re-organized to allow them to take advantage of new programmatic guaranteed channels. Multi-billion dollar markets don’t move overnight.

That said, programmatic direct is here to stay. Why? Well, according to eMarketer programmatic direct channels offer the control buyers and sellers needed in order to fully embrace automation.

With respect to high-quality inventory, eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher says, “[t]hose who do decide to turn to programmatic, however, are likely to do so via programmatic direct, where they can still secure inventory guarantees.” That’s not specific to publishers, either. As Fisher told MediaPost, ““[e]nthusiasm for more controlled, private programmatic setups like…programmatic direct echoed across all company types — publishers, agencies, brands, etc.”

The pipes are relatively new, but now that the groundwork has been laid, we can expect to see major growth beginning in 2015.



New York, September 24, 2014. iSocket, the leader in programmatic direct and reserved media sales today announced a partnership with Wenner Media, LLC, publisher of Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal.

iSocket’s publisher-facing tool, iSocket for Publishers (iFP), allows media sellers to streamline their reserved sales process by automating the 40-odd steps that go into executing a single reserved media deal. Agencies and brands can use iSocket’s buy-side tool, iSocket for Advertsers (iFA), to negotiate rates and purchase reserved media with a handful of clicks rather than dozens of steps.

“We see direct order automation as a key component of the reserved media sales business. It complements the programmatic segment of the business and will enhance efficiency on the traditional side,” said Michael Persaud, Director of Programmatic Advertising at Wenner Media.  “Automation can’t come fast enough.”

Automation is crucial for both the demand side and supply side to better utilize their talent and streamline their operations. Sellers can spend more time doing what they do best: selling, while buyers can use automation to facilitate more efficient planning and faster, simpler executions.

“We are pleased to be working with Wenner Media. Not only are they well-known and highly sought-after media brand, they are savvy and forward-thinking when it comes to automation,” said Steve Roach, VP of Publisher Sales at iSocket. “We are looking forward to developing this partnership further.”

About iSocket

iSocket ( is a technology platform purpose-built to simplify the buying and selling of fixed price, premium, reserved inventory. iSocket For Publishers (iFP) sales automation and programmatic direct tools allow top publisher sales teams to focus on relationships and strategy, while iSocket For Advertisers (iFA) makes it easier for agencies, brands, and buying and planning platforms to execute orders of well-defined, guaranteed inventory directly with top publishers. Through automation, iSocket is able to eliminate many of the errors and overhead costs that plague the manual media sales process

About Wenner Media

Wenner Media LLC, a privately held company headquartered in New York City, publishes Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal magazines. The company’s three titles attract more than 46 million readers each month in print, and 49 million gross monthly unique visitors to its websites,, and, and digital networks.


NewCo Logo SF Vertical

On Friday September 12th, iSocket will be opening its doors for the third annual NewCo (previously called OpenCo.)

We’re inviting NewCo attendees into our SOMA offices to share our story (Attendance is free, but you have to sign up here to secure your spot, and register to visit iSocket here).

Here’s some background on NewCo:

The concept is simple but powerful: NewCo turns a traditional event inside out. Instead of filling a dark ballroom with “attendees” and having leaders lecture in a one-to-many style, NewCo occurs inside the world’s most innovative startups and high-growth companies.  Executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and future influencers get an up close and personal experience of each company in its native habitat. Once inside, participants have a wide range of experiences – from behind-the-scene tours of cutting-edge work environments to founders candidly sharing insights into their own entrepreneurial journey.

We participated in last year’s event here in San Francisco, and we’re very happy to be on board for a second year! We hope to see you there.

When: Friday, September 12th, 9 AM

Where: iSocket. 2 Shaw Alley, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105

Register to attend iSocket’s session here.


The Future of Programmatic Media

by Caroline Watts

According to a recent survey from AOL Platforms, a whopping 87% of brand and agency respondents plan to increase programmatic spending by at least 50% over the next six months. The unsurprisingly bullish survey included executives at 25 advertisers, 96 agencies and 56 publishers, and centered on programmatic buying of display, mobile and video. It […]

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Karl Bunch Joins iSocket as CTO  

by Caroline Watts

San Francisco (July 1, 2014)  iSocket, the leader in automation for guaranteed media buying and selling, today announced that former AppNexus executive Karl Bunch has joined the company as CTO. He will be responsible for overseeing the company’s product vision. Mr. Bunch comes to iSocket from AppNexus (New York) where he served as VP of […]

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Why Publishers and Media Buyers Are Excited About Automated Guaranteed

by Caroline Watts

eMarketer recently released a new report on the state of automation in guaranteed, direct media-buying: “Programmatic Guaranteed: Meaningful Momentum, Despite Murky Industry Definitions.” Here’s a snippet from the report: Known as “programmatic guaranteed” or “programmatic reserved” for the ability to secure upfront commitments to both price and amount of inventory, this branch of programmatic direct […]

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iSocket at Digiday

by Caroline Watts

iSocket recently joined Digiday at both the Brand Summit in April and the Programmatic Summit in June. Here’s our CEO, Richard Jalichandra, talking with Digiday editor Brian Morrissey about the future of automated guaranteed: Digiday Dialog with iSocket from Digiday on Vimeo. And here’s our VP of Product, Casey Saran, at the Programmatic Summit in […]

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iSocket Announces New Partnerships with Kantar Media and MediaMath

by Caroline Watts

Two new ways to buy premium, reserved inventory using iSocket’s automated guaranteed technology stack April 16, 2014. San Francisco, CA. iSocket, the leading provider of automated guaranteed advertising, today announced two new channel partners: Kantar Media and MediaMath. Both integrations will introduce a new way for buyers to discover reserved inventory from iSocket’s publisher partners. […]

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iSocket Launches iFA (iSocket For Advertisers)

by Caroline Watts

Removes Time, Cost and Pain for Buyers and Sellers of Guaranteed Inventory San Francisco (March 3, 2014) iSocket, the leader in programmatic direct and sales automation, today announced that it has launched iFA (iSocket For Advertisers), an automated way to buy premium, guaranteed inventory that saves both buyers and sellers time and expense while dramatically […]

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iSocket Raises $5 Million in Funding From Time Warner and Conde Nast

by Caroline Watts

iSocket Also Launches iSocket For Advertisers Media Buying Tool for Fixed Price, Reserved Inventory; and Hires Microsoft Ad Platform Executive Kevin McCabe iSocket, the leader in programmatic direct and sales automation, today announced $5 million in new funding led by Time Warner Investments, with participation by Conde Nast; R&R Venture Partners, a new fund created by Dick Parsons, former chairman and […]

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