Social networking sites accounted for more than 25% of all UK display ad impressions in August, according to research by comScore's Ad Metrix service. Of the 54.2 billion display ad impressions delivered to UK Internet users in August, 25.5% of them, or 13.8 billion, were viewed on social networks:
- Telecommunications companies—including Telefonica O2, Deutsche Telekom, and British Telecommunications—were the heaviest social networking site advertisers, delivering more than 949 million display ad impressions on social networking sites in August, or approximately 7% of all display ads delivered in the site category.
- The retail advertiser category, which includes leading brands such as DFS, Tesco, and John Lewis, ranked second with 753 million display ad views, followed by banking brands (e.g., Barclays and HSBC) with 248 million, travel brands (e.g. Thomas Cook and Travelzoo.com) with 213 million, and entertainment brands (e.g. Sky and Sony) with 181 million display ad views.
- Of the top 10 advertiser categories on social networking sites, teen content advertisers like Habbo and NHS-owned TeenLifeCheck delivered the highest proportion of their ad impressions in the social networking category at 37.3%.
- Online dating advertisers (33.8%) and retail advertisers (30.1%) also delivered an above-average proportion of their ads in the site category.
All Age Groups Reached by Ads on Social Networks
A demographic analysis of display ads on social networking sites in the UK revealed that while ad delivery skewed somewhat younger than average, all age segments were reached with a notable percentage of display ads:
- 15- to 24-year-olds were the highest indexing age segment, accounting for 29% of display ad impressions while representing 23% of the total category audience.
- Those between the ages of 25 and 44 received ads at a slightly higher than average rate, while those 45 and older received ads at a lower than average rate.
- Each of the five age segments accounted for at least 15% of the category audience and 10% of ad impressions.
"CPMs on social networking sites have traditionally suffered relative to other content categories, in part because of the perception that much of the audience are younger consumers with lower spending power," said Mike Read, comScore managing director, Europe. "However, these data suggest that every demographic segment is reached via social networking sites. Brand advertisers who ignore this channel may be missing a significant opportunity."
About the data: The data presented here derives from comScore's Ad Metrix program; house ads and ads smaller than 2,500 pixels were excluded from the analysis.
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