New Index Reveals Surprising Ad Pricing Trends

Publishers of small Web sites earn almost three times the money per ad than the largest sites, the newly created AdPrice Index suggests.

PubMatic, a Palo Alto, CA, company that automates and optimizes ad-serving decisions, developed the index, which is based on data collected from more than 3,000 publishers of all sizes over the past three months.

PubMatic founder and CEO Amar Goel said the AdPrice Index is an industry first that PubMatic is offering for free. “There is now transparent, industry-wide data as an index,” he said. “There has never been an index of data about ad prices…It actually provides data about where online ad prices are trending.”

He said the information will help publishers, ad networks, and advertisers plan and manage their businesses.

The first findings show that publishers of small sites — described as those receiving under a million page views monthly — are paid an average of $1.18 effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM), nearly triple the 38 cents eCPM paid to sites with more than 100 million monthly pageviews.

“That’s not necessarily the most intuitive thing people would have guessed up front,” Goel said. “Traditionally advertisers have paid more for the large sites because of the brand of a Yahoo or a Microsoft or something like that.” He pointed to an Avenue A/Razorfish report suggesting the agency had increased its spending on vertical sites at the portals’ expense. “This [AdPrice] data would confirm that in spades,” Goel said.

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