Meal-Time Displaces Real-Time: Thanksgiving Analysis Shows RTB Cost Soaring As Volume Crashes

In one of the first detailed analyses of the seasonal fluctuations in the supply-and-demand of online display advertising attributable to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, real-time bidding volume crashed as the supply of online ad impressions plummeted due to holiday usage patterns. The result was a spike in the average prices paid by advertisers bidding on inventory during Thanksgiving week.

The analysis released this morning by independent online trading desk Accordant Media suggests that some of the decline in RTB volume during the period was due to pre-holiday inventory sales.

“On one hand, publishers may have achieved higher upfront sell-through (lower RTB inventory) for Black Friday ahead of Cyber Monday, and on the other hand, consumers were probably offline more over the holiday period which also means lower impression volumes,” explains Craig Schinn, vice president-analytics at Accordant.

Whatever the reasons, the facts are that average daily trading volume for RTB impressions fell between 10% and 30% during Thanksgiving week vs. corresponding market averages.



The decline peaked on Thanksgiving day, which saw average RTB impressions volume fall 30% over an average Thursday’s trading volume.

While that might not seem surprising given the seasonal repast, Accordant notes that Black Friday auction volume was also down 20% over a typical Friday.

“The decreased inventory levels made for a much more frenetic ad-buying environment,” the Accordant report notes, adding: “With auction CPMs as much as 50% higher, buyers face greater pressure to make certain they are finding the quality audience they are looking for or face overall campaign performance challenges.”

4 comments about "Meal-Time Displaces Real-Time: Thanksgiving Analysis Shows RTB Cost Soaring As Volume Crashes".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, November 26, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.

    customers don't want banner ads. own it. breathe it. admit it. do better

  2. Bill Guild from ChoiceStream, November 26, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

    This is interesting because it reveals a general decline of all inventory and an associated spike in costs for all inventory on average. But when you dig deeper, all segments do not react the same.

    Our company publishes a monthly index that shows significant increases in prices for some categories of audience segments while others decline in the same period. These fluctuations can be associated with specific events and seasonal influences, and the trends can be anticipated for the benefit of advertisers.

    Check it out here:

  3. Nikolai Rochnik from Rocket Fuel Inc (USA), November 26, 2012 at 4:42 p.m.

    aren't the third and the last paragraph exact same quote?

  4. DG T from Viewthrough Measurement Consortium, November 26, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.

    Customers don't want banners ads until they have to start paying for all the free digital media they consume.

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