Net Advertising Still Relies on Banners

It may have an image problem (no pun intended), but for all of its bad press, the 468 x 60 banner remains far and away the most popular advertising form on the Internet, according to reports by AdKnowledge and AdRelevance.

According to the AdRelevance Rate Card and Ad Dimension Report, more Web sites are carrying multiple types and sizes of online advertisements, but 97 percent of all Web sites still carry standard 468 x 60 banner ads. With more sites carrying five or more ad dimensions, the average site now supports four different ad formats, compared to three sizes in the second half of last year.

The AdKnowledge Online Advertising Report for the second quarter of 2000 found 125 x 125 buttons to be the second most popular ad size on the Internet, far behind the 468 x 60 banner. The report found the 480 x 60 banner to be the least popular size of ad. AdRelevance found vertical banners, used by only 16 percent of sites, to be the least popular advertising dimension. Other findings from the AdRelevance report include:

  • All popular ad dimensions are showing strong growth in terms of usage by sites, including banners and buttons (see table).
  • Rate card prices for standard 468 x 60 banners have declined slightly (down $2.70) in the past six months, dropping from an average full banner price of $33.22 to $30.52 CPM.
  • Growth by Ad Size
    Full 4%
    Short 13%
    Half 10%
    Vertical 10%
    Tall 33%
    Medium 14%
    Short 9%
    Micro 28%
    Source: AdRelevance

    During the same time period, advertisers upped online ad spending, with the average amount spent per company increasing 14 percent from $263,000 to $299,000.

  • A majority of sites offer discounts on full banner rates, running from 20 percent to 39 percent, with the average discount at 33 percent.

“Amidst claims that the banner is dead, it’s interesting to note that we’ve seen a slight upward shift in the number of sites using full banner ads — they have become the defacto standard,” said Marc Ryan, director of media research for the AdRelevance division of Media Metrix. “While full banners top the online ad popularity list, we’ve also seen that sites are keeping their options open. The latest AdRelevance findings suggest that there’s been an increase in sites supporting multiple ad dimensions and advertisers experimenting with all sizes of online ads, hoping to grab more eyeballs.”

The AdRelevance report found that business-to-business sites are the most expensive for advertisers, with an average rate card of $47.27. Closely following b-to-b sites are health and fitness and home and garden sites, both with an average rate card of $42.50. On the other end of the spectrum, genres with the least expensive average rate card prices include community sites ($19.70), yellow and white pages ($23.67), and incentive sites ($22.00).

“Looking at the AdRelevance rate card and ad dimension survey data, we’re finding that vertical sites are able to demand a higher rate card, most likely because they can offer advertisers the opportunity to target a defined demographic,” Ryan said. “More mainstream sites, such as portals and search engines, reach a broader audience and therefore tend to have lower prices on average. Across all genres, however, average full banner rate card prices have remained relatively stable through the first half of this year compared to the second half of last year.”

Average CPM by Genre
Genre Q3/Q4 1999 Q1/Q2 2000
Health & Fitness $30.00 $42.50
Movies & Television $28.84 $34.38
Yellow & White Pages $20.00 $23.67
Kids & Family $23.19 $26.29
Home & Garden $40.00 $42.50
Games $23.35 $24.13
Travel, Maps and Local $28.50 $38.92
General News $37.23 $37.47
Search Engine $25.00 $25.00
Community $19.70 $19.70
Music & Streaming Media $26.68 $25.05
Personal Expression $27.50 $25.50
Portal $29.93 $27.08
Business & Finance $41.75 $38.30
Society, Politics, & Science $33.75 $29.75
Sports & Recreation $33.29 $27.53
Automotive $39.15 $31.93
Comics & Humor $31.44 $23.75
Source: AdRelevance

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