- A recent study from comScore found that digital ads on premium websites – such as The New York Times and Hearst properties – are 3x more effective than ads on nonpremium sites, according to Adweek.
- The research studied 15 major brands across a range of verticals including household goods, auto, consumer electronics and telecom.
- The publishers studied were all involved with Digital Content Next (DCN), a trade organization represents premium digital publishers including The New York Times, ABC, NPR and Condé Nast. DCN did not commission the study.
The comScore study illustrates that advertising on trusted websites increases brand favorability far more than advertising on other sites. Advertising on premium sites can bring a so-called "halo effect" to brands, while advertising on less trusted sites
"This outsized mid-funnel performance is of particular significance for the large consumer brands that drive the majority of digital ad spending," the report’s author, Andrew Lipsman, wrote. "These brands will tend to have already established high brand awareness and therefore prefer to focus more on influencing how consumers feel about the brand so that they are more likely to purchase that brand when they are in the market to do so."
The study calls into question the effectiveness of audience-based ad buys, which allows advertisers to target individual users across sites, instead of buying advertising on a single site that reaches all of their users.
“This research provides important empirical evidence indicating that premium publishers deliver substantially higher branding effectiveness for online display ads, lending support to their tendency to carry higher prices,” the report said.
The caveat in spending on publisher sites right now is ad block technology. Sponsored media, such as native ad formats, is one way for advertisers to avoid ad block software.