Last week in this column I discussed some of the more “unique” Internet visitor behaviors making headlines in China, India and Southeast Asia. This week we will take a quick trip across the “pond” to Western Europe where we will identify some of the ad exposure behavior occurring online in France and the UK. Following are some pertinent observations based on data from recent comScore studies.
Consumers often hear more about advertising setbacks that have befallen the newspaper business here in the U.S. than about the American industry’s ad revenue successes. In contrast, the UK newspaper biz does not appear to be as grim, given that more British citizens actually read press accounts of current events than watch the “news” on television.
Earlier this year, comScore reported that a total of 42 million unique visitors had been exposed to online display advertising in the UK and that 54% of this exposed audience had actually encountered ads on newspaper sites. A total of 454 million display ads had been served to the UK newspaper site Mail Online alone. This out of a total of 1.7 billion display ads that had been served across all newspapers sites during January 2011. The second ranked publisher to garner a huge number of online display ad impressions was the Guardian at 148 million. This was followed by two other newspaper owners in the 100 million plus ad impression club: Newsquest Media Group and The Sun Online.
Newspaper sites weren’t the only online destinations attracting audiences. ComScore reported that almost 33 million online video viewers had been exposed to almost 5.5 billion online videos in April of this year. Of this total, over 238 million of the videos were ads themselves or contained ads. The split along gender lines was significant. Women were exposed to approximately 7 ad videos for every 100 content videos while men were exposed to only 3 ad videos for every 100.
What was the top online display advertising sector for all of this activity? The answer—finance. The finance category accounted for almost 19 billion display ad impressions in the last half of last year. The following financial advertisers comprised the top five in terms of ad impressions: TotallyMoney.com (at 2.3 billion), Aviva.plc (1.5 billion), QuickCreditScore (1.2 billion), Barclays Group (1.0 billion) and American Express (930 million).
Moving across the Channel, French audiences appear to be even more online-enthusiastic. Ninety-seven percent of the French online population was exposed to over 55 billion online display ads in April 2011. As in the Asian region, the largest share of online display ads (29%) went to social networking sites. This was followed by portals (at a 12% share), entertainment sites (8%), sports sites (4%) and news and information sites (at 3%).
In the space of a little over a decade, the Internet has become a conventional yet essential medium in every sense of the word. What is interesting to note is how more traditional media (i.e., television, radio and print) have morphed to become more digitally interactive with the understanding that they would not be around long if they hadn’t done so. Gugelplex TV will continue to keep its periscope up and provide its point of view on Internet visitor behavior as it continues to monitor the global media “seas” in the weeks and months ahead.
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