Social networking sites accounted for more than 20% of all display ads viewed online, with MySpace and Facebook combining to deliver more than 80% of ads for the social networking category, according to a June 2009 comScore study of US online display advertising on social networking sites.
Of the 327 billion total ad impressions measured, MySpace sites delivered 30 billion of them (a 9.2% share of all display ads), and exposed 64 million unique visitors to ads, according to comScore.
Facebook delivered nearly 27 billion ad impressions ( an 8.2% share) that were potentially seen by 67 million unique visitors.
“Social networking sites now account for one out of every five ads people view online,” said Jeff Hackett, comScore SVP. “Because the top social media sites can deliver high reach and frequency against target segments at a low cost, it appears that some advertisers are eager to use social networking sites as a new advertising delivery vehicle.”
AT&T Top Advertiser on SocNets
AT&T ranked as the top display advertiser on social networking sites in June, with more than 2 billion ad impressions, the study found. This accounted for 30% of the company’s total number of display ads delivered during the month. Experian Interactive, which delivered a heavy rotation of ads for educational degree programs and credit scores, ranked second with nearly 1.3 billion impressions in the category.
Two of the top 10 advertisers on social networking sites in June delivered the vast majority of their impressions within the category. Pangea Media, which primarily advertises a variety of love and celebrity quizzes, delivered 90% of its ads on social networking sites, while online gaming provider Zynga delivered 97% of its ads on these sites.
“Social media is becoming an increasingly attractive vehicle for major advertisers seeking to optimize campaign reach and frequency and smaller advertisers desiring to reach a highly targeted audience,” said Hackett. “As social networking sites innovate on their existing ad offerings, the category should continue to grow in ad volume, while CPMs could also increase if the sites can demonstrate a high campaign ROI.”
About the study: The study, which ranked both the top online display ad publishers in the category and the top individual advertisers on social networks, is based on data from comScore’s AdMetrix service.