The Q1 Ad Revenue Slump and How To Set Up Now For A Successful 2018

woman in gray shirt looking at social media on her smartphone in a coffee shop

The past 12 months have seen incredible growth at Mediavine, and we are already looking forward to an even bigger revenue year in 2018. But as one year turns to the next, in the immediate future, that means the end of the elusive Q4.

What will this mean for your income?

Based on historical performance from the last few years, we predict that CPMs, and thus your RPM or income, will drop by as much as 50 percent after the holidays.

The first signs may be evident after Christmas, on December 26. From there you will likely see a slow decline until the 31st, followed by a significant drop on January 1.

It will likely be until Q2 before income levels return to where you want them, and all the way until Q4 of 2018 for you to see record-breaking earnings once more.

Why does this happen and why can’t Mediavine just fix this?


Almost all businesses are seasonal or cyclical, as are their advertising budgets. When advertisers don’t spend, competition in our auction decreases. We all get paid less.

This is not new nor cause for concern. This post about the seasonality of ad revenue by our Director of Ad Ops, Brad Hagmann, further explains this cycle and its temporary slumps.

Emphasis on temporary. Revenues may drop nearly 50 percent at Mediavine in the coming weeks, but they’re going to do so everywhere, and they will bounce back.

Our recommendation?

Focus on the things you can change and improve regarding your site during this period. Just add some more New Year’s resolutions to your list.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and making sure you’re in the best possible place with your content now will pay dividends down the line.

Make early 2018 a time to clean up older posts to make sure they’re optimized for search, user experience and ad delivery with new graphics, well-formatted text and even some video.

The goal is to make your advertising inventory as attractive as it can be at all times of the year, not just the good times.

Work on your top existing posts, develop new content strategies and execute them. Let’s set ourselves up for a remarkable year overall when ad budgets return to full strength.

On that note, early in the new year we’re launching a new marketing initiative dedicated to improving your blog’s performance that we’re calling Go For Teal.

We also have one heck of an exciting announcement coming next week that we think should further soften the blow of the temporary revenue slump.

Until then, from all of us at Mediavine, we wish you a very happy holiday. We can’t wait to make 2018 the best year for this company and thank you all for your continued support.

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