Posted April 15, 2008 5:31 pm by with 4 comments

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Crazy, but true: there’s actually good news for AOL again today. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news that AOL’s advertising arm, Platform-A, signed a deal with Verizon comes comScore’s report today that Platform-A and AOL were the top ad network in the US last month.

comScore’s report include this encouraging stat:

Platform-A, the AOL ad network that combines, Quigo and Tacoda, served ads to 170 million U.S. Internet users in March, representing 91 percent of the total U.S. online population, to rank as the top ad network. On a stand-alone basis, would rank as the top ad network with a reach of more than 167 million Internet users.

Yahoo and Google rounded out the top three:

comScore: top US ad networks, Mar 2008

Broad reach wasn’t the only thing comScore looked at: they also examined some selected niche advertising networks, with reaches of less than 10% each. The specific networks comScore selected to monitor are perhaps not as interesting as their analysis:

“The reality is that advertisers have different objectives with their online campaigns,” added [comSCore VP Jeff] Hackett. “While some are focused on broadening the reach of their brand, others prefer a more focused approach that can deliver a higher frequency. The emergence of these niche ad networks represents an evolution for the online advertising industry that is giving advertisers more precise targeting and better control of their online campaigns.”

It’s good to remember that reach isn’t always everything—targeting can be more important than reach, depending on your goals, of course.

What are you looking for in an ad network: covering the whole web or appealing to the few, the (hopefully) targeted?

  • Targeted ads are generally what most SME’s would be looking at for their specific products or services, whilst a general approach covering the entire web would be good for brand building and other similar campaigns. Reach vs Targeting is all about the indivdual campaign.

  • Interesting and good news for AOL! Targeted ads are most definitely better in most cases when it comes to conversions one would think but Web Marketing Man speaks truth when saying that the reach is more important when it comes to branding and so forth. Great article!

  • This is good news indeed. AOL keeps coming with surprises all the time.

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  • AOL looks like leader.

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