AOL reported strong display ad revenue growth and an overall revenue increase of 5 percent in Q2. Reporting its second quarter 2011 earnings this morning, AOL said ad revenue rose 5 percent from $304.7 million in Q2 2010 to $319 million in Q2 2011. Google also had a positive Q2, as Yahoo slumped.
Display advertising rose 14 percent overall at AOL, from $121 million in Q2 of last year to $137.6 million in Q2 this year. Domestic display far outpaced that of its international business, increasing 16 percent compared to a 10 percent drop in international display. International display fell in part because of the 2010 selloff of social net Bebo.
AOL said premium display ad pricing rose, noting that its HuffingtonPost and TechCrunch acquisitions helped boost prices. “In premium formats, the total number of Devil ad impressions served and the number of third party publishers using the Pictela platform grew more than 100% versus Q1 2011,” noted the company in a press release.
Google also reported strong earnings this quarter. The company in July reported a 32 percent rise in revenues during Q2 2011 compared to the second quarter 2010. Meanwhile, Yahoo had a disappointing quarter, reporting soft display revenues as a result of sales organization changes and struggles.
This was the first quarter AOL grew its global ad business since Q2 2008, it said. Still, partially a result of continued decline in AOL’s subscription revenues, total revenues fell 8 percent from $592.2 million to $542.2 million.
The third party network business also showed promise, bolstered by a 29 percent leap in revenues year-over-year, from $72.4 million to $93.6 million. Ad.com grew 15 percent, while acquisitions of 5 Minutes Ltd and goviral A/S also contributed.
AOL’s search and contextual ad revenue fell 21 percent, reflecting the company’s decision to steer away from these formats towards display and other more premium ad products.
In July, AOL’s top ad sales exec Jeff Levick left the firm. As a result, AOL promoted Ned Brody as chief revenue officer and president of AOL Advertising, a newly-created role. At the time, CEO Tim Armstrong said the change reflected the company’s mission to offer a “unified premium strategy for advertisers and publishers,” produce “consistent growth in advertising spend across all our properties and networks,” and take a “more rigorous approach to advertising and publishing system design.”
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