AppNexus’ chief data scientist, Catherine Williams, said in an email that there were a few reasons for the CPM high. People are willing to pay more when they have greater visibility and confidence in the quality of their inventory, she said.
There were macro trends, too: Advertisers paced their spend to focus on holiday shoppers, and more advertising dollars were allocated to digital media, all of which resulted in a December spend surge, Williams added.
The index, which analyzed more than 7.9 trillion impressions available on the platform in the fourth quarter of 2015, looked for seasonal trends from AppNexus' platform. The data set included campaigns run by 1,503 buyers and 785 sellers. The report found that the typically busy holiday buying season was even more competitive than usual.
-- Publishers in the shopping vertical saw impression volume peaking
at more than 3 billion on Cyber Monday.
-- U.S. Q4 click-through rates were up 111% year-over-year, after the April introduction of AppNexus' Inventory Quality (IQ), features that enforce inventory standards.
Marketers looking to make the most of this advertising year -- which will include the presidential election, the summer Olympics and the Euro Cup -- should consider using programmable bidders to leverage data and simplify campaigns, said Williams. "We believe the future is programmable -- not programmatic," Williams said, "and it’s time for buyers to rethink the old, inefficient way of managing campaigns."