Google introduced publisher metrics and benchmark data identifying trends in display advertising to answer questions behind industry assumptions on real-time bidding, mobile, video, display and more. The Publisher Edition became the first in a series of publications looking at aggregate global data collected from across the company's display advertising products.
The aggregate data from across DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick for Publishers, and Google AdSense platforms analyze categories, such as the rise and the fall of CPMs, based on a variety of verticals and regions, seasonal sell-through rates, and mobile and video impressions.
The goal is to provide insight into the overall publisher landscape, focused on trends in the display business.
For instance, Google expects advertisers to continue investments in RTB in 2012. The amount spent on the Ad Exchange through RTB rose from 58% at the end of 2010 to 72% by the end of 2011. The company attributes the increase in part to the average 188% revenue lift in the U.S. when the Ad Exchange wins the auction compared with fixed up-front sales of nonguaranteed display advertising.
Google also has been monitoring the growth of Web ad impressions globally for both desktop and mobile.
For mobile, the data tries to identify why some publisher verticals grow faster than others. Ad impressions on the Ad Exchange and AdSense platforms rose 250% during Q3 and Q4 2011 on mobile. Globally, all publisher verticals, with the exception of Travel, experienced double-digit growth in Q4. The strongest vertical market in mobile was Shopping, with 69% growth, followed by Food & Drink at 61%.
Video impressions also grew nearly 70% during the second half of 2011 across the DFP video platform. The average video ad midpoint and completion rates came in at 79% and 72%, respectively. About 51% of video ads run between 15 and 30 seconds long, with 36% running more than 30 seconds, and only 13% running less than 15 seconds.
Google also saw a 175% rise in impressions on the 640 x 360 ad unit that fits wide-screen players, and a decrease in standard aspect-ratio video player impressions.
It has been assumed that sell-through rates rise at year's end. New metrics suggest global publisher sell-through rates on average rose from 36% to 42% in the fourth quarter, compared with the year. Overall, according to Google's report, publishers sold more unreserved than reserved impressions last year, and all regions exhibited similar compositions in channel mix.
Although reserved ad inventory sold by the publisher's sales team and unreserved impressions rose incrementally each quarter, reserved impressions grew at a faster rate in the fourth quarter of the year: 64% in Q1 2011, 62% in Q2, 62% in Q3, and 58% in Q4 for unreserved. Compare that with 36% in Q1 2011, 38% in Q2, 38% in Q3, and 42% in Q4 for reserved.