It seems hard to believe that we’re more than a month into a new year, and with it, a new and ever-changing technological landscape.
Looking back on the previous year, 2023 was nothing short of … well, it was interesting.
We can certainly say that the last 12 months were marked by ups, downs and an abundance of numerical narratives that shape our collective experience.
Which brings us to the inaugural Behind the Numbers with Brad (BTNWB) post of 2024, in which we flex our noodle arms, look to the past in order to see the path forward, and attempt to unravel the many stories told by the numbers.
This also marks BTNWB’s fourth annual Best Days of the Year calendar, a visual, statistical landscape wherein we’ve encapsulated the data of previous years and set the stage for the unfolding narrative of 2024.
In compiling this calendar, we’ve taken data from the past several years to make our best guesses as to how each day of 2024 should play out in terms of ad performance.
In my Ad Revenue by the Seasons post — which dates back to 2019 but is still relevant — I describe how our data is most heavily influenced by two main trends:
- Increased consumer activity around holidays.
- Cyclical trends of the advertising industry.
For the first trend, think of any major holiday and how you, the consumer, prepare for it.
You’re more than likely spending more on groceries, doing a little extra online shopping and maybe even making some travel plans.
Advertisers realize all of this and do their best to make sure their products end up on your dining room table or that their articles of clothing round out your perfect outfit. Their budgets increase with the goal of getting in front of the right consumers at exactly the right time.
The second, cyclical trend pertains to the times of the calendar year in which daily advertising budgets increase in order to fulfill campaign budgets. These most often happen at the end of months, quarters or fiscal years (not always the same as the calendar year).
These occurrences help explain spending increases at the end of the month, and inversely, declines at the beginning of the month as budgets are reset.
With all that squared away, we present our 2024 calendar:
First, the obligatory disclaimer:
We use historical data from previous years to inform these predictions. Advertising trends have followed familiar patterns for years, but we’ve also seen plenty of deviations, and expect more as we move into a post-cookie world. (More on that shortly.)
TL;DR — Past performance cannot guarantee future results.
What might cause some disparity from these predictions?
There are often unforeseen events over the course of the year that can influence advertiser spending. These can be large, life changing events (like a pandemic for instance) or something smaller, but still significant — think Amazon Prime Days.
Many events can’t be predicted with perfect accuracy, or at all. In turn, we may see shifts away from these predictions — sometimes for the better, other times not.
One thing to pay special attention to in 2024 is election spending. According to multiple sources, election spending may eclipse $16 BILLION this coming year, with a very large portion of that amount allocated to online advertising.
If publishers opt in to this type of advertising, the proverbial needle could move considerably toward the dark green, especially as we get closer to November.
Also, there is the unpredictability of third-party cookie deprecation.
If you paid attention to our blog, you’ve heard us talk for years about Google Chrome’s plans to deprecate the third-party cookie, and with it, much of the easy, browser-based targeting the digital ad industry has relied upon forever.
While Google has punted after making similar claims in previous years, they seem to be on track to follow through this year.
We are already seeing 1% of Chrome traffic running without third-party cookies, and the expectation is that this will increase as the year goes on.
How — and by how much — this affects overall advertiser behavior and spending remains to be seen. Mediavine aims to understand more every day as new technologies emerge and are tested to mitigate the loss of third-party cookies.
Segue alert: On the subject of technologies that will help make up for the loss of cookies, are you running Grow yet? If not, here are 10 reasons why you should be.
Unpredictability aside, please use the calendar as your guide throughout the year, even with the above caveats. It’s a helpful template for when your quality, brand-safe content has the best opportunity for maximum earning potential. Plan accordingly.
Without a doubt, 2024 will be an interesting year. Knowing how advertisers work to spend their valuable budgets, and keeping an eye on the trends to the best of your ability, can help you make informed decisions for your own business.
Check out the links below to print your Behind the Numbers With Brad eCPM calendars:
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