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Led by Facebook, display ad buying becoming more of a real-time business

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Bolstered by the recent launch of Facebook’s (s fb) private ad exchange, real-time bidding could account for 25 percent of all  U.S. display-ad spending by 2015, according to research firm eMarketer.

In its first forecast on the fast-growing method of buying and selling display advertising, eMarketer said real-time bidding (RTB) will account for 13 percent of all U.S. display ad spending this year, which is more than triple its share in 2010.

While the overall U.S. display ad market is expected to grow 21.5 percent to $14.98 billion this year, eMarketer estimates that RTB spending will grow 98 percent to reach $1.9 billion in 2012. By 2015, the firm projects that spending on RTB could climb to $5.8 billion.

Several factors — including an influx of video and mobile inventory, an expected increase in the availability of premium ad inventory and overall demand for more transparency — are projected to fuel that growth, eMarketer said. But the firm said Facebook’s ad exchange, FBX, which it launched in September, is expected to play a key role in the rise of RTB.

Through the platform, advertisers can target ads to Facebook users based on their general web browsing history. In a recent conversation with Adweek, Rob Norman, chief digital officer at GroupM, said he believed that FBX had already “quadrupled” the market for advertisers interested in buying through real-time bidding.

Clark Fredricksen, eMarketer’s vice president of communications, said it’s unclear exactly how much Facebook’s ad exchange will drive future RTB growth. But he said that if just 10 percent of Facebook’s projected $5.5 million in ad revenue in 2013 were to go through the exchange, it would increase real-time bidding’s share of ad spending by 1.5 percent.

“Even the slightest investment in FBX from advertisers could significantly effect the growth of RTB overall,” he said.  “The growth of Facebook’s ad exchange will be highly influential.”