For the third year in a row, the average CPM among fifty IAB-selected sites was in the $11 range, coming in at $11.67. Auto and financial advertisers pay the highest CPMs, with other categories like family, entertainment and news clustered below those two outliers.
While the digital advertising market is huge, not all advertisers play equally in the space. Retail contributes the most digital ad revenue (22%), followed by high CPM-paying financial services (13%) and auto (13%) advertisers. Telecom and travel were next at 9% each.
Peter Stabler, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, expects a gradual shift in the digital advertiser mix to favor some new categories.
He noted CPG brands have begun to invest more in digital because it increasingly allows them to activate their reams of first-party data and data from loyalty partners. They accounted for 6% of digital advertising revenue in the first half of this year, but may command more next year.
Improvements in measurement may also accelerate their investment.
“The evolution of web advertising to include rating points and viewability metrics is really important,” Stabler said. Unlike other mediums, digital hasn’t had an “opportunity to see” metrics for advertisers, so “steps toward standardization and improved currency will drive additional spending online.”