- Platforms’ ad prices have gone up due to more demand and privacy changes that limit ad targeting.
- Retailers are also spending more on digital to keep up with the shift to online shopping.
- Digital ad buyers shared how much the price of ads on Facebook, Google, Amazon and elsewhere have increased this year.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Snap’s advertising businesses are soaring, and so is the cost of their ads.
And these increases have helped drive better-than-expected second quarter earnings for these platforms.
Insider spoke to two ad buying firms and one measurement company that tracks ad prices about those platforms’ increased prices as well as TikTok prices.
They listed a few factors behind the price increases:
- Apple’s ad-tracking changes cut back targeted advertising, making it more expensive for advertisers to pinpoint ads at audiences.
- Advertisers are shifting money from TV to digital and seeking prominent ad placements.
- Retailers have increased ad spending to keep up with the shift to e-commerce.
We compared most of the platforms using the common ad-buying pricing mechanism of cost per mille (CPM), which is the cost advertisers pay to reach 1,000 people. For platforms that sell ads designed to get people to take more immediate action, like Amazon and Google’s shopping and search ads, we looked at cost per click (CPC), which prices ads based on how many click on them.
Below is a breakdown of ad prices by platform.
CPC prices: Up 20% between the first quarter and second quarter for all ad formats, according to performance ad agency WPromote.
Price Glomski, executive VP at PMG, said beauty and retail clients have seen particularly high CPM spikes in Amazon’s programmatic inventory, with average prices for those clients rising from $3.60 in February to $8.60 in May and June and topping the agency’s average programmatic CPM of $4.60.
“A lot of that inventory is richer media like video and OTT,” he said of Amazon.
The third-largest digital ad platform reported nearly $8 billion in ad revenue in the second quarter, up 87% year-over-year.
CPM prices: Up 89% year-over-year in July 2021, according to ad measurement firm Measured. On a sequential basis, WPromote found that ad prices increased 30% from the first and second quarter, with an average CPM of $11.
Apple’s recent App Tracking Transparency change makes it harder for advertisers to target ads, causing Facebook ad prices to skyrocket. Facebook reported that the average price per ad increased 47 percent year-over-year in the second quarter and warned investors that ad prices are likely to continue to climb in the second half of the year.
CPM prices: Google’s ad business benefited massively from 2020’s rebound in digital advertising.
YouTube CPMs soared 108% year over year in July, according to Measured. YouTube has become a bigger money maker for Google as advertisers shift linear TV money to streaming, making $7 billion in second-quarter revenue (up 84% year-over-year).
CPMs associated with Google’s programmatic inventory — which uses algorithms to determine how ads are targeted and delivered to consumers — shot up 198% year-over-year in July 2021, according to Measured. CPCs for search and shopping ads during the second quarter were around $1, a 40% year-over-year increase, said WPromote.
CPM prices: Up 64% year-over-year in July, according to Measured.
Snap said in second-quarter earnings that Apple’s tracking change didn’t impact ad revenue as much as expected, but warned it might dip during the second half of the year.
Snap’s revenue rose to $982 million during the quarter, up 116% year-over-year. Snap credited the growth to performance advertisers who buy ad formats like augmented reality and the Discover section of the app.
CPM prices: Up 92% year-over-year in July, according to Measured.
While TikTok’s ad business is still relatively small and mainly attracts Gen Z advertisers, its ad price increases suggests it’s starting to attract mainstream advertisers, said Measured’s Testwuide.