Macquarie Capital has just published their Ad Tracker report for 1Q 2011 and believe it or not, it’s AOL that came out on top.
Twice per quarter, the company analyzes display advertising sales on the homepages of YAHOO, AOL, YouTube, and MSN. Looking at the data from the first quarter of 2011, AOL won the award for the most improved player.
The company had the highest proportion of Oversized/Custom ad units (ex YouTube) at 26%, and it also had the highest percentage of purely brand-focused advertisers (which we view as a positive indicator of ad quality).
AOL’s new Project Devil program didn’t make the splash they’d hoped for, but Macquarie says we should see more of these large interactive ads in the second quarter.