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A new eMarketer study predicts programmatic display advertising will grow by more than 26% in 2017, even though most publishers admit they don't make that much money on it.

What is programmatic advertising? Have you ever been followed by an ad as you move from site to site that shows a pair of boots you almost bought on eBay? That's a programmatic ad. They are ads that can be targeted very specifically at scale, and are priced very low through an automatic bidding system.

Why is it growing? Major technology platforms, like Google and Facebook, have created an environment in which scale is a commodity. To keep up with those platforms, publishers have increased the amount of content they are creating, and they need an automated system to sell ads against all of that new inventory.

Why aren't they making much money? Profit margins can be low for this type of advertising because its extremely complicated to manage and takes a lot of infrastructure to monetize.

Why it matters: An increase in programmatic advertising suggests that scale will continue to dictate market needs in 2017. However, low profit margins, stemming from uncertainty in how to manage the platform, has led buyers to feel less confident in the platform. eMarketer predicts that when industry-wide quality and implementation standards are put in place, we can expect to see prices and revenues increase.

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

10 hours ago - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.