There are some signs that pricing for display advertising is stabilizing, at least for the Web's long tail.
Adify, a technology firm that helps media companies large and small create and manage online ad networks, has released a report on CPM pricing for display ads. It indicates that some content categories are seeing pricing bounce back slightly since the economy went south late last year.
For example, Adify found that prices for ad inventory on real estate sites doubled during the second quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter last year, reaching an average of $6.49. Similarly, the sports category's CPM reached $7.09, an increase of 18 percent versus the previous quarter, when prices had dipped. Entertainment CPMs are also on the rise, said company officials.
Though it cannot claim comprehensive insight into pricing trends for the entire display marketplace -- for example, it lacks data from many top publishers as well as the largest portals and search engines -- Adify does have unique visibility into the online advertising ecosystem. The Cox TMI-owned firm manages over 200 networks, representing inventory on 12,000 sites which reach nearly 70 million U.S. users. Those networks range from niche networks like Hello Race Fans Ad Network, which is comprised of horseracing sites and blogs, to Martha's Circle, a collection of lifestyle-oriented sites and blogs that are aligned with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Among the 13 vertical ad network categories Adify monitors, the travel, technology, automotive and health categories commanded the highest average CPMs in the second quarter of 2009. Specifically, technology CPMs climbed to $16.01 after a rough first quarter, said officials, while recession-sensitive categories like automotive ($15.33) and travel ($19.89) showed decent pricing growth after slipping during the first quarter of this year.
The current signs are not all positive, however, as Adify's Moms/parents and beauty/fashion verticals both saw pricing declines in the second quarter.
— Nielsen Business Media