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On behalf of all of us at Mediavine, Happy New Year!
What better way to ring in 2023 than with our first installment of Behind the Numbers with Brad (BTNWB)? As always, I work with Mediavine’s data experts to gain a few insights from several trillion data points. (With nearly 10,000 publishers now under the Mediavine umbrella, that’s barely an exaggeration!)
With another calendar year in the books and a new one just beginning, we’ve put together the latest version of Mediavine’s “Best Days of the Year” calendar.
As the name implies, this uses data from previous years to predict which dates in 2023 will see the highest potential for earnings, and which ones could be underwhelming.
We do this by analyzing eCPM, which takes into account fill rate, and CPM, by calendar day.
These data points are heavily influenced by seasonal advertising spend — the times of year in which consumer activity fluctuates cyclically, and when companies are more (or less) likely to deploy their fiscally-planned advertising budgets.
While the timing and volume are inexact, there are two recurring trends which nearly always result in an uptick in advertising spend:
- Increased activity, generally around major holidays, on the consumer side.
- Budget timing, on the advertiser side.
Let’s start with the first trend. Who hasn’t made additional trips to the grocery store ahead of a holiday weekend, or spent extra time shopping online ahead of the Christmas holiday?
This bonus activity, if you will, jolts advertising budgets into overdrive as advertisers try to get their product or service in front of the right audience at the right time.
The second recurring trend — budget timing — is driven by how funds for ads are allocated for specific time periods during the month, fiscal quarter or year.
Because of these allocations, we typically see spending increases at the end of months and quarters and conversely, steep declines at the beginning of each.
Consider this a reeducation of sorts for how you think about ad revenue by the seasons!
Alright, without further delay, we present you with Mediavine’s eCPM guide for 2023.
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.
So what should you do with this information?
Remember, the world’s largest companies invest millions into researching when exactly to use marketing dollars most impactfully.
Mediavine is privileged to work with many of these huge brands, plus thousands of additional advertisers over the years. What you’re seeing above is the aggregate data showing you, historically, when these businesses are most often spending.
The largest and most successful companies don’t announce their latest products or services when no one is looking. Their timing is very strategic, and yours should be, too! The insights presented here are meant to help you build and promote content to that effect.
Now for the disclaimer to end all disclaimers, a disclaimer so disclaimerable that we made up that adjective to describe it, then bolded and increased the font size below:
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
This calendar was built using data from 2021 and 2022; Normally, we would use the past few years, but ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the broader economy and advertising trends have been less predictable and very different, to say the least.
We expect 2023 to track more closely to 2021-22 than to pre-COVID-19 times.
Moreover, commerce is always evolving, and there are likely to be new reasons for spending increases and decreases that are difficult if not impossible to project.
Amazon Prime Days are a great example. These “holidays” created by the world’s largest retailer not only mean increased spending from Amazon itself, but more competition in the marketplace that raises CPMs across the board.
These days, important as they are, will not be announced until right before they happen, and therefore aren’t included in our calendar. Other new and unprecedented (I almost made it through this article without using that word) circumstances may arise, as well.
Also, we are likely headed for a global recession, or are in one already, depending on who you ask. Turbulent economic conditions are negatively affecting the largest companies in the world, and those companies are the ones with the most significant advertising budgets.
Some recessions are milder and shorter-lived than others, and hopefully this one falls in that category, but no one can say for certain how dramatically budgets will be impacted, when a recovery will commence, or how robust that recovery will be.
The long and short of it: Past data can offer instructive guidance, but change is a constant, happens quickly and can be caused by myriad factors.
With that said, advertisers will still spend, and this calendar is an exercise in helping you pinpoint when that spend is more likely to occur.
At Mediavine, our job is to prepare your business so that you can make the most of your hard-earned traffic, taking advantage of everything you can control while persevering through the many factors you cannot control.
This is just one example of our ongoing mission of helping build sustainable businesses for content creators, for 2023 and beyond.
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