More Evidence That Ad CPM, CPC Prices Keep Rising Worldwide

Marketers are likely feeling the pinch, but here's additional evidence that it cost more to connect with consumers in the second quarter of 2021 than it did in the past.

It's one of several reports and analysis published this week demonstrating the rising cost per clicks (CPCs) and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs).

Skai, which provides a data-driven suite of products that analyze price changes, published its Q2 2021 Digital Marketing Quarterly Trends Infographic this week, an analysis of digital marketing trends defining the past quarter.

Analysis comes from about $7 billion in advertising spend from about 3,000 advertiser and agency accounts across 40 vertical industries and 150 countries running on the Skai platform on Google, Microsoft, Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo Japan, Verizon Media, Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Criteo, Apple Search Ads, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network.

While search clickthrough rates remained high compared with 2020, clickthrough rates for keyword ads in paid search began to slow, which could show that the urgency to search and find goods locally is easing.

Paid Search spending outpaced Q2 2020 by 60%. Elevated clickthrough rates drove the increase, although those rates began to trend slightly downward through the first half of the year. Along with a slowdown in search shopping spend, the urgency of online searches for vital goods has begun to slow.
The average cost-per-click for paid search ads rose 17% quarter-over-quarter, and 34% year-over-year, this marked a return to average prices from before the pandemic.

Search spend in the Travel segment took a big jump in Q2, growing 74% from the previous quarter and more than four-times since Q2 of last year.

The company reported a 41% increase in CPMs compared to the same quarter last year. It drove an increase for overall dollars spent in the channel. Impressions remained flat year-over-year with a 10% dip from Q1 2021, possibly as a result of social advertisers having to buy more media in light of data privacy changes on the Apple mobile operating system.

CPMs for social rose 41% in Q2 2021; and 62% for brand awareness, traffic and reach, when compared with the year-ago quarter. Marketers spent 41% more for social; and 114% more for brand awareness, traffic and reach, according to Skai’s data.

Ad spending on retail media networks jumped 55% compared with the same quarter last year as the overall volume of clicks and the cost of those clicks rose. The month of June, which included this year’s edition of Amazon Prime Day, saw an increase of 61% versus 2020.  With the holiday season approaching and advertisers pushing to create a direct path to purchase, retail media spend could top the numbers in June later this year.

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