Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Midterm Lesson: Web Ad Space Isn't Unlimited

Political campaigners are learning a surprise lesson in the midterm election battles: Premium space on the web is not infinite. Late-comers to the increasingly crowded digital space are finding that they've missed all the tastiest spots for video and display ads. A recent story in The New York Times underscored that savvy political players now must make pre-emptive strikes to ensure ad placement when and where it matters most. Online video spots are especially hot, and there are two main types: those a viewer can skip after just a few seconds, and “reserved buy” ads that run in their entirety before another video begins. The ads that can be skipped are unlimited but sold by auction so the price goes up as demand increases closer to Election Day. The ads that cannot be skipped, those that viewers are forced to watch for all 15 or 30 seconds before they can see content from their original search, are limited. Campaigns are hurrying to reserve this video ad type in advance to lock in a good price and ensure prominent display. Video ad space on popular sites like YouTube, Hulu, Yahoo and top news outlets is in short supply; there is already almost no remaining YouTube inventory for reserve buys in some very competitive races, the New York Times reports. Banner ads and home-page takeovers, in which ads from a particular buyer are the only ones prominently displayed on a website’s home page, are also being scooped up fast. “Smart campaigns book early, the same way that smart brands book television early,” Andrew Bleeker, the president of Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic digital marketing company, told the NYT. “We reserve most of the inventory for our clients in the spring to make sure something like this isn’t a factor.” For the complete article, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/us/campaigns-find-ad-space-finite-even-on-the-web.html?_r=0

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