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

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.

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.

4 thoughts on “The Q1 Ad Revenue Slump and How To Set Up Now For A Successful 2018”

  1. Thank you so much for explaining about the revenue drop, looking forward to a new year with positive attitude!

    Have a best year yet!

    Best wishes,

    1. Jenny Guy says:

      We are quite excited about 2018 and are all looking forward to a great year! Best wishes to you from all of us at Mediavine!

  2. Not everyone experiences the same result.

    November 2017 was my first month with ads on my site and I was blown away that I’d been letting this revenue just slip by every month. December 2017 was even better.

    Then I read this article. I thought, ‘well, I knew the party had to end.” However, to my surprise, January was even better!

    So far, each month has gotten better and better!

    1. Jenny Guy says:

      Very true, Devin!
      With programmatic advertising, there are so many variables that go into how our partners are bidding on sites and seasonality is just one of them. Niche, audience demographic, size, etc., all play a role.
      It’s great to hear that you’ve been experiencing a steady climb in revenue since coming to Mediavine! This is right in line with what we usually see: a ramp up period of 90 days for our premium ad partners to get to know your site and decide how they want to bid. After the initial period, things typically level off and more traditional factors, like seasonality, start to play more of a role.
      Glad you’re with us! Let us know if you ever have questions or want to talk optimization (it’s one of our favorite topics:)
      ~Jenny, Mediavine Marketing Associate

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