Advertising: AOL’s Ad Impressions Drop, but So Do Page Views – Advertising Age – Digital
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
That’s been CEO Tim Armstrong’s message since he took the job of fixing sick patient AOL more than 18 months ago. Anyone looking for a glimmer of turnaround won’t find much in the numbers. Early in the year AOL started cutting back ads in a bid to improve the user experience. But that spring cleaning has stretched into fall — it’s been cutting down ads, sprucing up content and hacking away at operating costs, all of which has had the two-pronged effect of lowering expenses as well as lowering income.
Source: ComScore data
To wit: in the most recent quarter, AOL’s ad revenue declined 27% from the same period last year, while Yahoo increased its digital display revenue 17%, The New York Times Co.’s digital ad revenue grew 14.6% and ad network ValueClick saw a slight increase of 1.5% to $106.8 million. What gives?
Mr. Armstrong said the ad-revenue drop was largely “self-inflicted,” meaning the company has purposefully pulled back on the amount of ads its sites have been serving in order to offer a cleaner user experience. An analysis of traffic and ad numbers show that while AOL is, in fact, serving fewer ads, it is also serving fewer page views, and the proportion of advertising hasn’t changed much across its domestic websites over the last 12 months.