CPMs May Be Leveling Off

The average CPM rates for Web advertising fell only 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 1999, according to the First Quarter Online Advertising Report by AdKnowledge. The change in CPM compares to a 3 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of last year, and an average decrease of 6 percent during 1998.

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The data in the report is compiled from the company’s database of more than 1,800 sites that seek Web advertising. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, the sites reach 94.1 percent of the Web audience.

The CPM rates in most of the report’s site categories remained fairly level in the first quarter of 1999. The largest increase was in the Science Information category, which saw a 2 percent increase. Shareware and Audio sites saw a 5 percent decrease. The highest CPMs remain in the Computer & Technology, Corporate, and Professional Publications categories, according to the report.

The number of sites seeking advertising continues to grow, AdKnowledge found. During the first quarter of 1999, the number of sites seeking advertising grew 27 percent. The fastest growing site categories are consumer-oriented, such as Consumer Publications, Computer & Technology, and Directories.

The 468×60 banner size remains the most popular by far, with AdKnowledge reporting its use by 1121 sites. The next most popular size is 125×125 with only 129 sites using it. GIF remains the most popular format for Web ads, with more than 2000 sites now accepting it. JPEG is next, with almost 1000 sites accepting it.

In the rich media department, HTML and Java remain the most popular formats, with Shockwave placing third. The biggest gainer in acceptance goes to Thinking Media’s ActiveAds, which showed a 37 percent increase in acceptance.

AdKnowledge also reports that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is firmly in the lead in the browser share race, with Netscape’s share of the market dropping to below 40 percent. Internet Explorer has a 54.4 percent share of the browser market according to AdKnowledge.

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