In our January Publisher Trends we noted that Video Publisher Impression share declined significantly from December levels. The story of February is that social media is the flavor of the month, with one-third of Display impressions in the US coming from this Publisher type. To put this into perspective, this is almost double the level of December 2010.

Figure 1 shows the different Publisher types compared against each other, and Figure 2 shows actual numerical performance per Publisher type and how they trended MoM (month over month).

Figure 1: US Display Publisher Category CPMs – February 2011
Figure 2: US Display Publisher Type Trends
Apart from the social wave, what is also readily apparent is the lower CTRs (click-through rates) in February across all Publisher types. We noted in our February 2011 Display Trends release that impression levels were up 13% MoM and 273% YoY (year over year). So Efficient Frontier advertisers are increasingly understanding the interaction between Display and other digital channels like SEM and social media, which is contributing to increased marketing expenditure in Display due to the overall digital ROI (return on investment) benefit. Additionally, while the proportional share of different segments might vary, overall volume is certainly growing significantly for EF US Advertisers in Display.

In the wider Display eco-system, with many high-quality publishers diverting evermore of their non-guaranteed Display inventory to private exchanges managed by Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) like AdMeld, Rubicon, PubMatic, etc., it is imperative that savvy marketers are paying the optimal amount for Publisher inventory.

Chris Jacob