Click-Through Rates Drop in Q2, DoubleClick Says

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Click-through rates for online advertising dropped for the first time in six quarters, DoubleClick said yesterday.


Average click-through rates for all ads served by advertisers and publishers in the second quarter of 2003 were 0.61 percent, down from 0.7 percent in the five previous quarters, the New York-based online marketing and advertising services and technology provider said in its DoubleClick Q2 2003 Ad Serving Trend Report.


Meanwhile, rich media -- ads with moving graphics, interactivity and sound -- averaged click-through rates of 1.87 percent in the quarter, nearly five times that of non-rich media ads, which averaged 0.34 percent click-through rates in the quarter.


However, rich media click-through rates dropped 15 percent from the first quarter of 2003, which DoubleClick said could indicate a growing use of rich media for branding rather than direct response objectives.


Rich media accounted for 32 percent of all ads served in second-quarter 2003, up 14 percent from the preceding quarter.


DoubleClick reported that it served 149.8 billion ads in the second quarter, a 10 percent increase over first-quarter 2003 and a 5 percent rise over fourth-quarter 2002.


The standard banner remains the No. 1 ad unit, accounting for 42 percent of ads served in second-quarter 2003, DoubleClick said. Skyscrapers are the second most popular, accounting for 9 percent of total volume.


Content targeting now accounts for more than half of all publisher-served ads, the report said. Technological forms of targeting, such as by browser type, domain or operating system, account for less than 2 percent of publisher-served ads, the report said, adding that most targeting is done at the publisher level.


Geo-targeting accounts for 7.36 percent of publisher inventory, the report said.


Though dayparting gets a lot of lip service in online advertising discussions, it still accounts for only 1.69 percent of publishers' inventory, DoubleClick reported.


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