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The Rise of Web Endemics: Who Really is Buying Online Ads?

June 29 - min

Commentary By: Todd Krizelman

The Rise of Web Endemics: Who Really is Buying Online Ads?

Outsiders often incorrectly assume that magazine publishers haven’t embraced programmatic advertising selling on their websites. The truth is that the vast majority of advertising running on Association of Magazine Media (MPA) members’ sites is placed programmatically. The data from a MediaRadar first-quarter analysis of MPA members backs this up.

The total number of advertisers on MPA sites is enormous. More than 17,000 brands ran campaigns on MPA sites in Q1 alone. Ninety-five percent of these online advertisers bought advertising programmatically. Perhaps more importantly, more than 15,000 of these advertisers do not possess a print advertising relationship with any MPA members. That folks, is a colossal opportunity for the media owner.

The preference for programmatic buys vs. direct online placements is about split among those companies that did buy both print and online advertising with MPA members in the first quarter. Out of the 2,447 buying print and online, 1,269 placed programmatically and 1,178 placed direct. Many of those direct campaigns placed the highest CPM ad units, including online video, native ads and rich media units, such as skins.

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So where did the non-print, programmatic advertisers come from? The findings are surprising. The No. 1 product category buying in MPA websites was pure-play dotcoms, including hundreds of e-commerce sites, such as Rue La La, 6pm and Joss & Main.

The data shows that building a large-scale digital business shouldn’t rely on pursuing only the largest traditional companies. Those partners are essential, of course, but to achieve scale will require aggressively selling to the full, expansive market of companies that market themselves online first. Getting to know these “web endemic” advertisers is crucial for any publisher.

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Todd Krizelman is CEO of MediaRadar.