Let’s begin this 2023 preview post by addressing the elephant in the room: December 2022 was soft, or underwhelming, compared to previous years. Moreover, January 2023 is down as well …
Happy New Year from Mediavine!
We’re excited for 2022’s first installment of “Behind the Numbers with Brad” (BTNWB), where I work with our Business Intelligence experts to examine a few of the billions of data points available to us, thanks to our 8,600 publishers.
With another (dare I say) “unprecedented” year now in the rearview mirror, and another full year of data at our disposal as a result, we’ve been working on the latest and greatest version of our “Best Days of the Year” calendar for 2022.
For those who missed the 2021 edition, this calendar gives us an opportunity to look back at prior years’ data to predict when we can expect the highest earning days of this year, as well as when earnings might be underwhelming.
We do this by analyzing eCPM, which takes into account fill rate and CPM, by calendar day.
Both CPM and fill rate are heavily influenced by seasonal advertising spend, when consumer activity increases and decreases cyclically.
For example, any holiday that involves increased consumer spending — think gifts for Mother’s Day, or even increased grocery shopping ahead of Independence Day in the U.S — is almost always preceded by higher advertising spending as brands try to reach their ideal audiences.
We also see spending increases near the end of both calendar months and fiscal quarters, as advertisers use up what’s left of budgets allocated for that period.
On the flip side, at the beginning of the following month or quarter, spending tends to be on the lower side as those advertising budgets are reset.
Consider that your reintroduction to ad revenue by the seasons.
Without further ado, here’s our eCPM guide for 2022!
NOTE: If you’d prefer a printable version of this, we’ve got you covered! Print either the color or grayscale PDF to pin to your bulletin board. You can also find them in this Google Drive Folder for easy cloud storage.
It sure looks pretty and professional, doesn’t it? But as a publisher, how can you best utilize the data shown above?
Well, for starters, print it out and hang it where it can be easily referenced.
This calendar should provide you with some insights as to how advertising spending ebbs and flows, helping you craft a roadmap for when you should work hard(er) to create and promote content relevant to days of the year when it’s most likely to pay off.
For instance, maybe you had a post that performed really well ahead of Father’s Day in 2021. Now you can see how many days ahead of that holiday you should think about pushing that post on social channels so that it can realize its maximum potential.
It is also a useful reference to help to troubleshoot sudden drops in RPM as well. You’ll notice that one of the sharpest drops of the whole calendar year — from a high eCPM day to a much lower eCPM — takes place right before Christmas.
This makes sense when you think about it, as consumer spending peaks in Q4 around Christmas and then takes a breather. The advertising budgets allocated to trying to reach those shoppers do exactly the same. Plus, it’s almost at the end of the year to boot.
This calendar should help you anticipate that big drop and prepare accordingly.
On the other hand, if you see that the calendar is predicting a high eCPM day, but your revenue has dropped off suddenly, it may be time to dig into your Mediavine Dashboard to troubleshoot the issue or reach out to our award-winning Support team for assistance.
A general disclaimer before we sign off:
This calendar was built using 2018, 2019, and 2021 data. (2020 is a year I think we’d all like to forget, and for the purposes of this calendar, we’ve done just that.)
We’ve talked at length about how the advertising industry tends to follow similar seasonal and yearly trends, but major events like a pandemic can upend things in a hurry.
Nearly two years later, we’re still seeing its dramatic effects on the health of the people of the world and on the interconnected industries that rely on those people.
As issues with travel and an already-strained supply chain became evident in late 2021, we observed an earlier-than-expected drop in spend at the end of Q4.
These types of situations that we cannot foresee, along with the ever-changing nature of digital commerce, make exercises like this predictive but inexact. Please keep this in mind when using this data for business purposes.
At Mediavine we strive to set up our publishers for success. Using this calendar to make the most of their time, talent and traffic is just one example of our enduring mission of helping create sustainable business for content creators, now and in the years to come.
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