Top CPM Category a Mystery to 75% of Advertisers

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ads-cpmsIn the fight for more transparency in the online advertising world, new data released last week shows how advertisers still do not always know the ins and outs of online display advertising. According to SQAD, a media cost forecasting company, advertisers still understand television advertising more than they do online display ads.

At the 2013 ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference in May, SQAD asked advertisers to identify the television program that had the highest 30-second ad price in the first quarter of 2013, and the website category that reported the highest average CPM in 2012. Among the ad buys in SQAD’s database, the correct responses were American Idol and the Finance, Insurance, and Investment category.

However, only 25% of respondents identified the correct website category, with 30% choosing entertainment and 22% picking automotive as the category they thought had the highest CPM. On the other hand, 58% of respondents correctly chose American Idol as the program that attracted the highest price for a 30-second spot. According to SQAD, American Idol fetched $275,000 per 30-second spot in Q1, and the finance, insurance, and investment category netted an average CPM of $22.

"This boils down to the economics of supply, demand and targeting," SQAD president and CEO Neil Klar told AdExchanger in an email. "There is also a correlation to the content found in this category. Forbes, the Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesBusinessWeek and other sites in this category provide focused financial content catering to desirable high-income audiences. Also, many of those publishers are very smart with regards to managing and pricing inventory."

He added that advertisers can work to educate themselves more on this area of advertising, but publishers and ad tech companies should also work with organizations such as the IAB, ANA and 4As to increase transparency in the space.

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