OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in Research on 02/25/2013 By Mark Glaser & Courtney Lowery Cowgill

Data to rescue invisible display ads

ComScore just released a mountain of stats looking at the digital sphere in 2012 and what that augurs for 2103. Highlights include the break-neck pace of the mobile migration, the “visualization” of the web and how search is at a crossroads. But perhaps the most eyebrow-raising stat is further proof that the display ad hurting. According to the report, 5.3 trillion ad impressions were served last year in the U.S. but 3 in 10 were never seen. That leads to “significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs,” according to the report.

So what does that mean for 2013? Data to the rescue. As James Dohnert writes for ClickZ, “comScore projects that publishers will begin to better use data to cut down on frivolous display ads…and marketers will begin to use more targeted ads and use data that better shows the monetization ability of advertisements.” Anthony Ha of TechCrunch writes that this can only mean one thing: Publishers will resist a drop in CPM and put inventory into private exchanges. Plus they’ll be “doing more to demonstrate that ads drive offline behavior such as in-store sales,” Ha wrote. And of course, there’s bound to be more “native advertising” inventory offered. “Certain large, premium publishers are also beginning to experiment with and implement native advertising-based models to deliver unique branded content at scale… Look for others to follow suit as a means of enhancing the value of their platforms, increasing the value of their inventory and improving the scalability of their content,” reads the report.