Rich media increased 59% from Q4 of 2002 to nearly 40% of all ads served in Q4 of 2003. Flash accounts for the largest percentage of rich media served and is now nearly 16% of all ads served.
For advertisers using direct response metrics (click-throughs), rich media click-through rates are more than four times higher than those for non-rich media (1.24% as compared to .27%).
Rich media continues to display stronger conversion rates than non-rich media (GIFs and JPEG ads). As compared to non-rich media, it generates higher rates of post-impression activity per impression (1.11% vs. .54% for non-rich media) and post impression sales per those activities of 2.30% vs. 1.47%: Consumers are more likely to take some kind of action after viewing, but not clicking on, a rich media unit and those activities are more likely to result in some kind of a sale.
When the subset of ads served and tracked purely by advertisers are analyzed, interesting patterns emerge: click-through rates have declined to .40% on average, while view-through rates currently average .75%. View-through rates have increased 42% from Q4 2002, while click-through rates declined 45%. Viewthroughs assess some action observed within 30 days of a consumer viewing an ad (post impression impact). These metrics are part of the larger picture of the effectiveness of online advertising: click-throughs assess immediate response, while view-throughs reflect the latent impact of that online ad.
Average click-through rates for all ads served by both advertisers and publishers declined from .72% in Q4 2002 to .44% which most likely reflects the dramatic growth in volume in Q4: the more ads consumers are exposed to, the lower the response rate.