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Ad Network

June 9, 2009

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Ad Networks’ Audiences
The “potential reach” measure will be a calculation of the unduplicated visitors to all sites with which each ad network has contracted to deliver advertising. The definitions will be based on written documentation and confirmation provided by the networks. This measure represents the largest potential reach a network could deliver if all parts of the network are used to deliver ads. The “actual reach” measure will represent the reach of the ads that are actually served by the network during a given reporting period. In order to report “actual reach,” networks must participate by providing comScore with the appropriate identification protocols for rendered ads. Consequently, only participating networks will be included in the “actual reach” report.

Ad Networks’ Audiences
“These two toolsets provide the information that ad agencies need when they are deciding on which advertising networks to consider for ad buys. And, the ad networks will have the high quality, third-party information needed to compete for advertising dollars,” commented Magid Abraham, President and CEO of comScore, Inc. “Ad networks are a vital means of monetizing most Web sites and delivering high reach to advertisers. These new metrics provides ad networks, agencies and advertisers with the accurate information needed for buying and selling advertising.”


AOL’s Platform-A Ranks as Top Ad Network in March, Reaching More Than 9 Out of 10 U.S. Internet Users
Data on online ad networks, highlighting both the breadth of reach for the top ad networks and the emergence of a series of audience-specific niche ad networks. comScore’s technology platform measures the actual delivery of ads within online ad networks, a feature that differentiates it from most, if not all, other online measurement firms. Ad networks have become integral components to the online advertising industry over the past several years by helping aggregate audiences for the purposes of delivering impressions to a broad array of Internet users. The increasing ability of many ad networks to target and deliver ads either behaviorally or demographically is enabling a more efficient expression of ad dollars and an improved return on advertisers’ online marketing investment.

Top 15 Ad Networks
Each of the top 15 ad networks delivered ads to at least half of the total U.S. Internet audience in March, making them very effective reach-building vehicles for advertisers. Platform-A, the AOL ad network that combines, Quigo and Tacoda, served ads to 170 million U.S. Internet users in March, representing 91 percent of the total U.S. online population, to rank as the top ad network. On a stand-alone basis, would rank as the top ad network with a reach of more than 167 million Internet users. Yahoo! Network ranked second with a reach of 160 million, followed by Google Ad Network (152 million) and Specific Media (140 million).

Source: July 2008

*Includes, which reached 167.5 million visitors in March 2008.

Niche Ad Networks Emerge for Audience-Specific Targeting
As ad networks have expanded their reach and influence online, a new crop of ad networks has surfaced to serve specific demographic and behavioral target segments through both the traditional ad network model and more innovative ad-targeting mechanisms. While the overall reach of these niche ad networks is eclipsed by the more generalized ad networks, their ability to precision-target niche audiences helps advertisers reduce wasted ad impressions. One example of a behaviorally targeted ad network is Snap Shots Network, which delivers ads to users of’s Snap Shots. The network reached more than 18 million U.S. Internet users in March. Widgetbucks Network delivers contextually relevant ads through a widget, and joined the ad networks ranking in March with a reach of 9.5 million, while NeoEdge Game Network, which delivers ads through games, had a reach of nearly 1 million.
Source: July 2008

Growth in Vertical Ad Network Reach

Vertical ad networks are a growing phenomenon in the online advertising space, in part because of their ability to deliver engaged, targeted audiences. As more vertical ad networks prove their ability to effectively reach specific target audiences by aggregating mid-tail publisher sites, the industry will likely give greater consideration to these emerging ad delivery channels.


People Reached by Vertical Ad Networks Exhibit High Category Engagement

The study of showed that vertical ad networks were effective in reaching people with significantly higher than average engagement in their respective content categories. Of the five segments studied, people reached by vertical ad networks spent at least 60 percent more time in those site categories than the average category visitor. For example, people reached in the Gaming segment spent 423 minutes per visitor on sites in that category, 123 percent higher than the average visitor.

*Index = Time Spent by Vertical Ad Network visitors / Time Spent by Category Visitors x 100; Index of 100 indicates average representation

U.S. Ranking of Top 25 Ad Networks

The ranking showed that AOL’s Platform-A remains the top ad network, reaching nearly 176.5 million U.S. Internet users, or 91.5 percent of the total audience, followed by Yahoo! Network (167.1 million) and Google Ad Network (164.5 million). New ad network FOX Audience Network ranked sixth, reaching 149.2 million people. Several ad networks in the top 25 achieved double-digit growth during the past year, led by Turn Inc. (up 121 percent), CPX Interactive (up 88 percent) and 24/7 Real Media (up 48 percent).

Source: May 2009

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