Rich Media Ads Proliferating

  |  March 30, 2005   |  Comments

As the sector burgeons, frequency controls are necessary to maintain effectiveness.

By 2009, rich media ad units will account for over half of all online display ads by spending, according to Jupiter Research. Steps must be taken to limit over-exposure.

A new concept report suggests improved frequency controls are needed to maintain the effectiveness of rich and streaming media units. In 2004, these represented 24 percent of all online display ad spending. Jupiter shows the percentage growing 5 to 7 percent per year between 2004 and 2009, by which time rich and streaming media are expected to account for 56 percent of all online display ads.

Various types of rich and streaming media units have been growing at a rapid clip over the past two years. Eyeblaster's format (which takes over a user's screen with a floating add and is considered "invasive" by many) increased the number of units it served between 2002 and 2004 by 73 percent. DoubleClick reportedly doubled the number of rich media units it served over that same period.

Rich and Streaming Media as a Percentage of Display Ad Spending
Year Percentage of Spending
2004 24
2005 29
2006 35
2007 41
2008 49
2009 56
Source: 2004 Jupiter Research Internet Advertising Model, July 2004 (US only), Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corp.

This degree of growth means users will see rich and streaming media units with greater frequency. This leads to concerns of reduced ad effectiveness, unless steps are taken to reduce that frequency.

Growth of rich media units over the past few years has partially been fuelled by improvements in rich media ad serving capabilities.

"It's gotten a lot easier for sites to implement out-of-banner rich media," the report's author, Analyst Nate Elliott, told ClickZ Stats. "Three, four, five years ago, a lot of sites were hard-coding rich media tags into their pages. So there was only one chance to run an Eyeblaster on that page that day, because they were physically putting the code onto the page and they weren't serving it through their ad server."

Elliott explains most major sites now serve out-of-banner rich media ads through their ad servers. This provides a lot of flexibility in terms of which ads run where on a site, how they're targeted, and also whether or not those ads are frequency-capped.

"As it has gotten easier to serve and rotate invasive rich media ads, the opportunity to serve those ads has increased. As a result, consumers are seeing more of these ads everyday and that's where a lot of this problem has come from," says Elliott.

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