Publishers CPM falls; ad networks under pressure


manyadnetworks_small.jpgADOTAS — Web publishers and ad networks can’t catch a break.

Cost-per-thouand ad impressions for online publishers is down about 20 percent, and sell-through rates are droppng. While publishers used to sell 60 percent of their inventory, now they’re down to 30 percent. For an average CPM, ad networks get between 60 cents $1.10, about 90% less than large publishers want when they try to sell their inventory directly.

Not that ad networks are flourishing right now. PubMatic’s fourth quarter AdPrice Index, showed that all sizes of networks were down dramatically from Q4 2007; small, medium, and large sites dropped 52%, 23%, and 54%, respectively, from the previous year.

— Express your opinion, comment below.

But if you’re a media buyer, and you can pay less for the same audience, why wouldn’t you? Some brands have pulled away from using ad networks, but with revenue tight, you can expect that to ease. And with performance driven advertising becoming more popular, how is that going to help/hurt publishers and ad networks?


  1. Large and Medium-sized Publishers that still participate in the ridiculous ad network concept deserve what they is a system designed for small web sites that has gotten out of control due to the proliferation of media amateurs on both sides of the table.

  2. Publishers and advertisers should follow their food through all the chains…Jane Doe isn’t buying as much, so CPA goals are down, leading to lower CPMs. Also fill systems like pubmatic can be used to increase or decrease CPMs depending how they are set up by a publishers (per Bruno above: amateures beware — I’ve seen lots of undercutting). There are also performance systems not buying on a CPM but I’ve see eCPMs over $10 (not accounted for by fill systems). No easy solutions…just top site optimization and the best possible ad placements will get the best possible CPM (and that might not be as high as last year).


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