Ecommerce merchants have many choices when it comes to advertising their products online. Merchants can place ads — banner ads, text ads, video ads, and audio ads — on individual sites, on search engines, and on ad networks. The traffic to those sites and those networks vary, and merchants may wonder, “Which advertising options deliver the largest audience?”
comScore, the tracking and analysis firm, compiles that data each year. Through its large sample of Internet users, comScore can track the U.S. advertising options — on both individual sites and ad networks — that are seen by the most consumers. comScore calls this its “Ad Focus Ranking” and it’s part of the annual “Top 50 Web Properties” PDF report. It released the report, most recently, in Dec. 2010.
212 Million Internet Users
There were roughly 212 million Internet users in the U.S. in Dec. 2010, according to the report. Ads from Google Ad Network were seen — at least once — by roughly 198 million unique users, or 93 percent of the total. Yahoo! Network Plus and Yahoo! sites took second and third spots respectively with 183 million and 181 million unique visitors, which represent 86 and 85 percent of the total, respectively. AOL Advertising and Google.com were fourth and fifth, respectively, with 180 million and 171 million unique visitors, or 85 and 80 percent of the total.
Changes in Ad Impressions from 2009 to 2010
The landscape of advertising platforms has changed significantly in just one year, according to comScore, which last ranked advertising reach — prior to its Dec. 2010 report — in October 2009.
Facebook, which has grown in popularity over the last year, entered the top fifteen for the first time in 2010 at the eleventh position with 154 million users having seen a Facebook ad, a 73 percent reach. This was a dramatic leap for Facebook, which in Oct. 2009 held the thirty-first position at 97 million ad viewers out of a 198 million total U.S. Internet audience then, or a 49 percent reach.
In comScore’s October 2009 report, AOL Advertising topped the list with 180 million unique visitors for a 91 percent reach. Yahoo! Network and Google Ad Network took second and third spots with 174 million (87 percent reach) and 171 million (86 percent reach), respectively. The fourth and fifth slots in Oct. 2009 were held by Tremor Media and ValueClick Networks, with 165 million (83 percent reach) and 158 million (79 percent reach) viewers, respectively.
Here is our chart of the top fifteen ad platforms from 2009 and 2010. We follow the chart with a table containing links to each company.
Chart: Ad Platform Reach
Top 15 Advertising Platforms, December 2010
Data is according to comScore’ “Ad Focus Ranking” from its “Media Metrix Top 50 U.S. Web Properties for December 2010.” Ranking is determined by percentage of unique visitors out of total 212 million U.S. Internet users in December 2010.
- Google Ad Network (Unique Visitors: 197 million)
- Yahoo! Network Plus (Unique Visitors: 183 million)
- Yahoo! Sites (Unique Visitors: 181 million)
- AOL Advertising (Unique Visitors: 180 million)
- Google (Unique Visitors: 171 million)
- Turn Media Platform (Unique Visitors: 168 million)
- ValueClick Networks (Unique Visitors: 167 million)
- 24/7 Real Media (Unique Visitors: 165 million)
- Collective Display (Unique Visitors: 159 million)
- AdBrite (Unique Visitors: 155 million)
- Facebook (Unique Visitors: 153 million)
- Specific Media (Unique Visitors: 151 million)
- Microsoft Media Network US (Unique Visitors: 147 million)
- Vibrant Media (Unique Visitors: 145 million)
- Traffic Marketplace (Unique Visitors: 143 million)