LOS ANGELES – LONDON, UK, 21st September, 2009

31% of online display advertising budget is spent on online ad networks.

46% of advertisers working with more ad networks than this time last year.

42% of advertisers expect to increase their use of online ad networks.

Research into the online advertising industry reveals the rapid growth of online advertising networks in the UK. Conducted by Econsultancy, and sponsored by the Rubicon Project, the research reveals that 70% of online advertisers and their agencies work with three online advertising networks or more, including 23% of advertisers who use between five and ten ad networks. Almost half (46%) the advertisers surveyed say they are working with more ad networks than a year ago, and a similar proportion (42%) are planning to increase their use of online ad networks.

The research, which questioned over 250 advertisers and agencies involved with media planning and buying, also reveals that an average of 31% of online display advertising budget is spent on online advertising networks. 44% of those surveyed say the proportion of budget spent on ad networks has gone up in the past year.

Jay Stevens, Vice President and General Manager, International of the Rubicon Project comments, “This data demonstrates how the UK’s digital media industry is maturing, with advertisers and agencies increasingly relying on online advertising networks to give them the reach and audience they are looking for, across a range of pricing models which work for both brand and performance-based campaigns. There are many advantages for advertisers working with ad networks, especially when you consider recent technical innovations in areas such as frequency capping and targeting and hence we see networks on so many media plans.”

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, adds, ‘’Online advertising networks have established themselves as an integral part of the display advertising ecosystem, offering value to both publishers and advertisers. For publishers, they offer an additional revenue stream whilst giving advertisers huge reach and helping them to tap into the right audiences.’’

Colin Petrie-Norris, International Managing Director for ad network Specific Media continues, “As the research shows, the audience and reach provided by an ad network is vital to advertisers and we have found our conversations with our customers are centring around the ability to also add value through intelligent data and insight to both product and brand campaigns. With the research highlighting significant growth in network usage, I believe we will see more relationships like this.”

Julia Smith, Head of IASH concludes, “This research highlights the huge growth of advertising networks in the UK. The fact that almost 50% of advertisers expect to increase their use of online advertising networks is a clear indicator of how important these businesses are in the digital industry. These research results are reflected in the dramatic growth of the number of IASH Members and we expect to see a substantial increase in the number of ad networks joining by the end of the year “

When comparing online advertising networks, advertisers cite 'audience' (55%) as the most important criterion for judging an online ad network, followed by reach (18%) and price (17%). Two thirds of advertisers say the main benefits of networks are 'increased reach' with over half of them (55%) also benefiting from 'more flexible payment models' like buying on a CPC or CPA basis and 'lower cost' (also 55%). A third benefit from saving time when planning whilst 28% see improved technology, such as frequency caps on campaigns, as an advantage and a quarter enjoy having few media owners to liaise with.

More than 600 digital marketers took part in The Online Advertisers Survey Report, which was carried out in August and September 2009. The respondents included 121 direct advertisers and 139 involved with media planning and buying. Members of the IAB, Econsultancy, EIAA and AOP participated in the research.

Full details of the research, titled ‘The Online Advertising market’ will be revealed on 22nd September at ad:tech where Jay Stevens and Linus Gregoriadis will present the findings at 11.10 in the Insight, Research and Privacy Theatre.

About the Rubicon Project

Based in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Project launched in 2007 and set on a mission to automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry. Responding to one of the largest problems plaguing website publishers today – monetizing ad space that goes unsold (as much as 70 - 80 percent) across a fast-growing number of global ad networks – the Rubicon Project pioneered the category of Ad Network Optimization (ANO). Backed by $33 million in funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, and IDG Ventures, the Rubicon Project developed its patent-pending Smart Matching™ technology, which uses billions of pieces of proprietary market intelligence data to match each publisher ad impression to the best money-making opportunities from ad networks, exchanges and audience rep firms.

The company serves more than 1500 premium customers (publishers like Gannett, CareerBuilder, Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive and YellowPages.com) by optimizing more than 45 billion ads each month across hundreds of demand sources. Reaching more than 500 million unique Internet users, the Rubicon Project is one of the largest sources of ad inventory and reach on the Internet and the preferred source of targeted, audience-segmented inventory for ad networks and other resellers, many exclusive, around the world. The unique combination of demand optimization and SmartMatch™ technology drives revenue lift ranging from 30-300% for the Rubicon Project’s customers.


Joanna Burton

The Rubicon Project

020 3170 5616


About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 80,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.

Econsultancy is an award-winning online publisher of reports covering best practice, user experience benchmarking, market data, trends and innovation, and supplier selection aimed at internet professionals that want practical advice on all aspects of e-business.

Econsultancy also operates a highly popular training division, used by some of the world’s most prominent brands for staff education, both in-house and via public courses. We provide training across all areas of digital marketing and at all levels from one day courses to diplomas to Masters in Digital Marketing.

In addition, we host more than 100 conferences and events a year, such as The Online Marketing Masterclass, regular Supplier Showcases and Roundtables, an annual Future of Digital Marketing event, Digital Cream and a range of social events.

Some of Econsultancy’s client-side members include: Google, Yahoo, MSN, MySpace, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone, Yell.com, Dell, Oxfam, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Barclays, Carphone Warehouse, IPC Media, Deloitte, T-Mobile and Estée Lauder.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0) 20 7269 1450 or contact us online.

Published on: 12:00PM on 22nd September 2009