Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL are "big five" of digital advertising, which simply could not get past the algorithmic buying.

If give the companies the traits of animals from the list of the most honorable trophies of African safari, then Google, of course, is the lion, which means king of Digital space.

According to eMarketer, Facebook overtook Google in income from media advertising, showing an impressive growth in the mobile advertising segment, as well as programmatic. By the power one of the most popular social networks in the world can be compared with an elephant.

AOL is also worth keeping on the radar, because all of its undertakings in algorithmic buying and video ads proved to be so successful that few players can compete with the American media conglomerate, the provider of electronic bulletin boards and online services, the owner of the sixth most popular search engine in the world, social network Bebo, as well as Internet-pager AIM. That's why AOL can be easily compared with the powerful rhinoceros.

Yahoo though does not perform miracles in recent times, but its policy regarding video advertising, the purchase of Tumblr service that has become a YouTube competitor, uptake of the mobile service of advertising analysts Flurry and plans to purchase the advertising service BrightRoll - all this makes us reckon with the company that owns the second search engine by popularity in the world. So we decided on a buffalo for it.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has been virtually inactive in the matter of advertising strategy, growth and acquisitions, but it would be a gross mistake to write this "leopard" off.

All the efforts of the "big five" can serve as an indicator of how the world is moving away from direct marketing to a global automation of advertising buying and selling processes.

GOOGLE: Growling of a lion

Google has its own programmatic-story, which was made possible thanks to such own platforms as AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange. For example, DoubleClick is a comprehensive platform for display advertising, the market share of online advertising of which, according to a study by Attributor, is 69%.

However, it is worth noting that so far Google didn't manage to provide its customers with premium inventory, although many believe that the company is able to do it. All key Google purchases, including Admob, Admeld and Invite, could not provide similar level of programmatic premium, as YouTube has in the video segment. Yes, Google is actively developing the technology, digital culture and invests in early stages of advanced technologies, aтв all this helps the company to be at the forefront of programmatic movement. But the competitors are not asleep and are beginning to catch up with the leader.

FACEBOOK: Who will stop an elephant?

Facebook Exchange was the first advertising RTB-exchange of social networkы. Targeting based on first-party and third-party data, which clearly demonstrated what users are looking for on the web, was a serious step that allowed Facebook to enter the top five, and then go to White Castle from the main competitor - Google.

But even the establishment of FBX can't be compared to the restart of Atlas advertising platform, which Facebook bought from Microsoft. Thanks to Atlas, Facebook has a first-class targeting tool that can be used not only in its network, but also on all kinds of devices, as well as in numerous publishers sites. The abundance of user data with a unique identification system, which the social network has, pretend to be called a full-fledged advertising programmatic-platform with its own DSP responsible for the automation of advertising buying through ad exchanges and ad networks. This is a direct challenge to Google.

AOL: a rhino with excellent vision

Many business publications are singing the praises of Tim Armstrong's strategy, which states that the company AOL will become a programmatic platform number one in the world. And such claims are well founded: AOL's revenues increased by 44% over the past year, and the company's revenue growth rate is nearly 20%. By the way, some of the key shareholders of Yahoo !, the company, which will be discussed below, addressed to Tim Armstrong to explore the possibility of merging the two companies. If this happens, then the market will get a powerful player that will be able to compete with such "pace-makers" like Google and Facebook.

YAHOO: Do not underestimate the buffalo

"Buffalo" in our ranking is known for its many acquisitions, but whether it can compete with the big players on the field of programmatic? A unified advertising platform Yahoo Ad Exchange, which combines the display advertising of premium segment, as well as contextual, targeted and search advertising in a single interface, gives the company a significant advantage. It is expected that the volume of the US video market in 2016 will total $ 5.96 billion, of which the share of Yahoo! will not exceed 2.4%. But do not jump to conclusions, the search engine number two in the world recently bought BrightRoll video service, so that Google and YouTube should start to think about new ways of development.

MICROSOFT: agility of a lonely leopard

Microsoft lags behind its competitors when it comes to premium video content and advertising algorithmic buying. However, the biggest transnational "window" company is still included in the cohort of top advertising market players. In Microsoft's arsenal there are Microsoft Advertising Exchange for Mobile, Xbox, Skype, programmatic direct products - all this suggests that the manufacturer of the most popular software platform to date will be able to make a seismic shift in the ecosystem of the media market.

All the representatives of the "big five" in programmatic-market show a tendency to change the rules of the game, make a significant investment in a stack of new technologies and permanently develop own tools. But the market of algorithmic buying gives a chance to everyone, so do not exclude the possibility that in 2017 we will see a redistribution of spheres of influence.