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Q1 2010 – over 1 trillion ads served

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday May 15, 2010 )

One trillion is a number that’s hard to get your head around; but it’s how many ads were served in the first quarter of 2010 – and that was just to USA web users.

Data from comScore’s Ad Metrix services states U.S. Internet users were served a record 1.1 trillion display ads during the first quarter. Comscore defines display ads to include static and rich media ads; but excludes video ads, house ads and very small ads.

The result represents a 15-percent increase over a year ago. Comscore says U.S. display ad spending in Q1 reached an estimated $2.7 billion, with the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) being $2.48.

That CPM figure is interesting – often when average CPM’s for display ads are published in various advertising reports, they quote as being are far higher – in the $20 – $30 range.

I’ve found in most of those cases, they are for specific niches on high ranking sites; but the vast majority of display ads served are those ones we mostly tend to ignore – really just “filler” ads and often only costing the advertiser under a buck per CPM if they buy up large amounts of unspoken for ad inventory (and there’s usually plenty of that around). They tend to work on raising brand awareness and repetition finally wearing down folks rather than aiming for a click on the first view.

Facebook accounted for a huge chunk of display ads served in Q1 – 176 billion impressions, representing 16.2 percent market share. Next in line were Yahoo! Sites, taking 12.1 percent, followed by Microsoft Sites with 5.5 percent.

As for advertisers, AT&T Inc. ponied up for over 26 million of the display ads, or 2.4%, followed by Verizon, Scottrade,Experian Interactive, Sprint Nextel Corporation, Netflix, eBay, Intuit, Privacy Matters 1-2-3 and IAC – InterActiveCorp.

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