Selling display ads and reaching new audiences is an ongoing challenge. We took a deep-dive into publisher display dynamics to see what insights we could gain from current trends. What we found, among other things, was that mobile usage has exploded with impressions on the ad exchange and AdSense platforms, and that video is quickly increasing in value for publishers.

June 2012

This premiere issue focuses on trends in the publisher display business and its purpose is to share trends that publishers worldwide may find useful in planning digital strategies, gleaning new insights, and supporting their hunches. Based on rigorous methodology, the data sets contain tens of billions of impressions served by publishers globally in 2011, and reported on an aggregate basis. Here are some highlights:

  • The number one ranking publisher vertical in impressions is Arts & Entertainment. The top two verticals to post double-digit growth were shopping and sports sites, at 37% and 25% respectively.
  • Spend on the ad exchange via real-time bidding (rTB) grew from 58% at the end of 2010 to 72% by the end of 2011. For US publishers, this translated into a an average gain of 188% lift in revenue when the Ad Exchange wins the auction compared with fixed upfront sales of non-guaranteed display advertising.
  • Emerging markets that are posting extraordinary ad impression growth in 2011 include: Egypt (+45%), Indonesia (+85%), Venezuela (+79%), and Kenya (+157%). These markets will be ones to watch for 2012.
  • Growth in mobile usage has exploded with impressions on the ad exchange and adsense platforms increasing by 250% over Q3 and Q4 2011. Globally, all publisher verticals, with the exception of Travel, experienced double-digit growth in mobile web ad impressions in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Finally, publisher video impressions grew nearly 70% in the second half of 2011 across the DFp video platform. We'€™re also seeing a 175% increase in impressions that fits wide-screen players, offering advertisers a rich visual canvas to display creative.