Hooray! Some good news. Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller says the Q1 ad market hasn’t been as bad as he feared.
“I was one of the people that thought Q1 would be disastrous, but so far it’s not that bad,” Jim told Adweek. “Things have been OK. It’s not the nuclear winter we feared.”
Likewise, Gawker Media owner Nick Denton told MediaMemo that Gawker’s ad revenues are actually up 10% so far in 2009. He told us the trick has been those entire-site ad takeovers you’ll sometimes see on Gawker sites.
Others remain pessimistic, including Microsoft (MSFT) advertiser & publisher solutions GM Tom Chavez, who told AdWeek that remnant ad pricing is down as much as 30% and that premium ad inventory is down 10%.
247wallst.com just completed its own “Financial Website Advertising And Audience Review For Q1 2009” and came up with similarly dreary numbers. Here’s an excerpt:
At the three portals it appears that many large advertisers are asking for 25% to 40% more impression for the same budget as they spent in the same quarter as last year. Remnant advertising, which carries CPMs below $1 is up over 30% at portals and large financial websites and over 40% at medium sized websites. The effect of all this is that CPMs are down as much as 40% across the websites we reviewed when compared to the first quarter of last year.
CPMs for text ads at the average financial site are off between 20% and 30%. At some sites that number is closer to 50%. Google still holds a CPM advantage of about 15% over services like Quigo, which has not changed much in the last year.
The combination of all of these trends has pushed overall ad revenue at most financial websites down by 15% to 30%.