Focused Sites Charge More for Banners, Study Says

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A new report by AdRelevance Inc., a Media Metrix subsidiary that tracks advertising activity online, has found that, based on Web-site genre, rate-card prices for full banner ads differ by nearly 2,000 percent.


Focused reference and technology sites charge the rates per thousand impressions while community sites and search engines command the lowest fees, the October through November study of 115 oft-visited, high-profile sites across 21 genres revealed.


"The reason for that is that the sites that are very targeted can charge a premium for the audience they're delivering," said Chris Korol, strategic project manager at AdRelevance, Seattle.


Reference and education sites charged an average CPM of $60 for a traditional 468x60 pixel banner ad. Computing and technology sites were a close second, at $55. Shopping and auction sites averaged a CPM of $50, business and finance $41.75, general news $37.23, health and fitness $30, portals $29.93, and search engines $25.


Bottom of the heap were Yellow and White Pages at $20 and community sites at $19.70.


"I think the medium is still quite young and [Web] publishers are still evaluating different pricing plans," said Korol, adding that "there hasn't been a lot of convergence yet, although we're seeing some similarities in sites that are alike in format and topic."


In another interesting study finding, less than one out of five surveyed sites rely solely on such traditional, full-size banners. While 95 percent of these sites still use them, 36 percent also use banners that are half the traditional format's size.


Though the survey did not poll use of interstitials or Superstitials, it did find many sites advertising through buttons, smaller, rectangular links. A good 56 percent of the sites surveyed said they also used short button, which are 120x60 pixel ads. One out of two used the micro button, whose dimensions are slightly smaller at 120x60 pixels.
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