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Historical pricing for banner ads

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday July 25, 2007 )

$50 CPM for 468×60 banners – does that sound like a publisher/affiliate’s pipe dream? That sort of price was regularly achieved by many sites just prior to the dot-com bubble bursting.

I was reading a post from someone reminiscing about easily making $75 CPM (per thousand impressions) for banners they ran on their site and thought “eh, dreaming”; but then I remembered that it really wasn’t all that long ago when those prices were possible – particularly prior to May 2000. By autumn of that year things had gotten so bad, high flying dot-coms heavily dependent upon ad revenue were falling over left, right and center.

Here’s a bit of a look at historical banner CPM average pricings since 1997:

“According to the OAR, the average CPM in December of 1997 was $37.21”

“The average Web rate card ad rate was $40 per thousand impressions in May, 1998, according to research from Focalink Communications” (Focalink no longer exists)

“The major web category experiencing the largest drop in average CPM rates between Dec. ’98 and Dec. ’99 was computers and technology, which dropped from a web-high rate of about $45 to about $39”
MediaLife magazine

AdRelevance, a data tracking subsidiary of Jupiter Media Metrix, asserts that the average cost of a full banner ad in the fourth quarter of 2000 fell to $25 per thousand impressions (CPM), a relatively modest decline of $5 from the $30 mean banner CPM in the second half of 1999.
Content Intelligence

“In the third quarter of 2000, online advertising shrank overall for the first time, dropping 6.5 percent, to just under $2 billion dollars. The average price of a banner ad toppled from a $50 CPM to less than $5.”

“CPM = $10 (a typical rate for general, not-very-targeted websites)”

“The general consensus seems to be that the average effective banner ad CPM today is somewhere in the neighborhood of $10.”
Content Intelligence

“Today, you can buy a run-of-network banner for $2 CPM or less”

“CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) have sort of found the bottom’ said Gary Stein, an analyst with Jupiter Research. The average Internet CPM is now $1.13–down from a year-2000 norm of $4 or $5, and when some very targeted sites enjoyed as much as a fat $100 per CPM. ”

“As of 2004, prices range from $1/CPM for a run-of-network to about $50/CPM or more for specialized targeted runs”

Fifty-five percent saw prices rise for run-of-network inventory, even though as much as half of available inventory on larger networks such as Yahoo! remains unsold, or goes for as little as $1 to $3 CPM
Media Buyer Planner

Judging by the conversations I’ve had with various publishers and agencies I’ve been communicating with over the last 12 months,- prices average have been anywhere from 20c for very untargeted space, e.g. general social networks; to $20 CPM (and higher in some cases) for highly targeted, top shelf sites

I often kick myself for not having started Taming the just a couple of years earlier than I did. I think it was December 2000 when I started getting into affiliate and general web marketing seriously – just as the crap was really hitting the fan – brilliant timing :). Ah well, it was positive from the viewpoint of wading into the digital bloodshed, learning about the mistakes that others had made and then trying to avoid the same.


Making money from banner ad networks


1 comment for Historical pricing for banner ads
  1. This is great! Without question there is no pattern to these numbers, as it all depends on the type of web site and the audience. I wonder if the ave CPM will every level off…?

    Comment by PlanOpen — January 21, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

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