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article imageWho advertises on top news websites? New research study from Pew

By Lesley Lanir     Feb 13, 2012 in Internet
Washington - New research on digital advertising content in the news business shows that top news websites have had little success in persuading advertisers to move to online advertising from traditional platforms; the financial industry leads in digital ads.
The study 'Digital Advertising and News Who advertises on news sites and how much those ads are targeted' by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism analysed advertising in 22 different news operations including cnn.com, usatoday.com, msnbc.com, huffingtonpost.com, wsj.com, azcentral.com, abcnews.com and 5,381 ads representing a cross section of media.
Among the findings in the report:
• Top news websites have difficulty persuading advertisers to move to using online ads.
• In-House ads, ads selling or promoting a news organisations own products are most prevalent.
• The finance industry accounts for 18% of advertising - nearly three-times more than toiletries and cosmetics.
• Discount or coupon advertising such as Groupon is reasonably limited.
• Most of the news sites do not feature ads targeted to consumers based on online behaviour.
• News organisations favour static banner ads not pop ups, animations, video ads or other techniques.
• Search ads do not appear on most news sites yet Google’s advertising presence remains strong.
Findings show the kinds of products and services advertised online differ to those found in traditional platforms.
The top three advertising categories for CNN cable television
• motion pictures and television
• insurance
• and telecommunications companies
The top three advertising categories for CNN.com
• financial ads
• toiletries and cosmetics
• job search
Who places ads?
Pew's study shows that the biggest single advertiser is the news organisation itself or its parent. Most of the advertising comes from news sites tied to print newspapers and magazines and they advertise primarily subscription offers for their print product. The following chart illustrates the results.
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Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
The financial Industry biggest buyer of digital ads on new sites
The second biggest advertiser online using the 22 surveyed news sites for digital advertising was the financial industry.
The financial ads tend to be for products or services such as debt management (credit cards, consumer loans) in preference to financial savings such as investments and retail banking.
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Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
Ads - print newspapers vs websites
The study shows that in print, clothing and accessories is the top category of advertisers (at 17%). Financial ads come second both on the websites and in print. More financial ads are found online than in print (17.1% versus 12.8%).
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Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
Types of advertising used
Overall, standard types of advertisements are still favoured on news sites.
Percent of Ads Captured
• Static Banner - 46.1%
• Rich Media - 14.3%
• Video - 1.3%
• Sponsorship - 0.2%
• Sponsored Links (Google) - 38.1%
Based on content analysis conducted by PEJ
Lee Raine from The Pew Research Center said this survey of more than 5,000 ads on 22 major news websites provides essential information relating to “business model” issues that are important to the future of news. In particular, Raine pointed out that the study examines how much targeting takes place on major news websites; most observers agree that targeting will be a key factor in increasing revenue on the web. It also reveals the reluctance of legacy advertisers to change to online news sites for advertising.
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Images added with permission from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Read the full research report 'Digital Advertising and News Who advertises on news sites and how much those ads are targeted.'
More about Digital Advertising, news sites, Research study, Pew research center
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