Programmatic Buying Vs Direct Buying

Confused between Programmatic Buying and Direct Buying? Do you know the difference between Programmatic Purchase and Direct Buying?

Direct Buying of media:

When we talk about direct buying of media we are basically referring towards the advertisers working directly with a publisher in order to purchase advertising space on various websites or in a traditional publication. It usually works like this they negotiate the prices, pick the places and the dates that the ad will run on and for how long that ad will be shown to the publisher’s reader. The whole process involves the engagement of people with each other and this whole process can take very long time. Because the ad copy is send back and forth to get approval. All the results are calculated manually and compiled and provided to the buyer once it becomes available.

In direct buying ads are optimized manually based on the provided data. This all indicates the traditional mode of the advertising media buying.

Programmatic Buying of Media:

When we talk about the concept of programmatic buying we know that it happens automatically through different ad-buying platforms. The buying and selling of the digital ads is through an automated process through a single dashboard. Real Time optimization occurs in this process and different data is available as it comes in. in the entire process you don’t need to interact with any of salespeople at the publishers.


In direct sales the process is awkwardly manual that involves many hours of human efforts just to understand client real need, negotiate with them and finally plan the insertion order and send tons of emails back and forth. It does not end here right when you think that everything is done perfectly after closing the full deal and signing the contract there comes the ad operation: that are campaign control and reporting. Now think for a second and do some quick math in your mind and take this exhausting process and multiply it by ten times and you will surely end up with a rough idea of how complicated and difficult it is to run them parallel at the same moment and this huge overhead required for their management.

Programmatic sales is totally driven more by algorithms and less with the calls and emails. Although manual input is still required for ad quality review, Tech support and billing but it is not any near to deal with any of the clients directly.


The basic difference between direct selling of media and programmatic sales is a major shift from selling ad impressions in a bulk to individual impressions to the highest bidders in real time also known as Real time Bidding (RTB).If we talk about the direct sales impressions are sold to clients who wants their ads to be seen in a specific context this only works when the website has a strong product or brand name.

Now talking about Programmatic sales, each impression is profiled and evaluated in a split of second while a page is loading now in the same time an auction is being held and the highest bidders is selected to place his creative in the entire ad unit.

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