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Coronavirus and digital media industry trends: 5/15/20

Today, we’re looking at the latest buzz in ad spending — what we’re hearing from our ad partners and seeing across the CafeMedia network. And we’re celebrating another huge milestone for CafeMedia publishers! Finally, if you’re looking for the highest-impact...

By Paul Bannister

Today, we’re looking at the latest buzz in ad spending — what we’re hearing from our ad partners and seeing across the CafeMedia network. And we’re celebrating another huge milestone for CafeMedia publishers!

Finally, if you’re looking for the highest-impact places to focus your efforts, we have a few suggestions for your content this week.

This week in advertising

We’re seeing continued growth in RPMs across the network. April started out relatively flat, and then in the third week we started to see positive movement. Since then, growth has begun to look a little more normal, and the trend line through the end of April and beginning of May is more like what we have seen in prior years. There’s still a long way to go, but the signs continue to be positive right now.

Home and technology advertisers are continuing to increase their spend this week. We’ve also seen big growth in the media and entertainment category, as streaming services and other media brands are spending more to acquire customers who are spending more time at home. 

Interest in travel seems to have already hit its lowest point and is now beginning to see some early upward movement. We’re seeing this in slightly-increased advertising spend in the travel category, the first time since COVID-19 crushed that category in March. Travel spend was up 50% this week compared to last week, although that is from a very low base, so it still has a long way to go to get back to earlier trends.

What our sales team is hearing

Our ad sales team is also hearing positive things from advertisers who have fiscal years starting on July 1. While still 1.5 months away, many large companies start their advertising spending at the beginning of their fiscal years, and they are planning significant campaigns, just like in years past. July ad spending typically starts slowly, but this is another encouraging sign that these major buyers are planning like they have before. 

Other things our team is focused on right now:

And while we’re all still dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, time isn’t standing still and many other important trends are continuing on. Google is still moving ahead with the end of third-party cookies. Our team is intimately involved in the process of creating industry replacements for cookies, to ensure that advertising on CafeMedia sites continues to grow and thrive, long into the future!

CafeMedia publishers reach number 12 in Comscore!

This week, April Comscore numbers show CafeMedia publishers jumping up to number 12 overall! That means that, collectively, we are larger than Paypal, Twitter, or USA Today, and virtually tied with The Walt Disney Company.

Comscore is a tool advertisers use to measure the size of partners and decide where to spend their money. The larger our community of the highest-quality digital publishers grows, the more sway we hold in the industry as a whole. In this time of consolidation and optimization, advertisers want to work with fewer, larger partners. 

Together, CafeMedia publishers are one of the strongest, safest places they can spend their money!

This week’s tips for publishers’ content

1. Readers are looking for things to celebrate

A cool tidbit from our data team:

The beginning of May marked the biggest traffic volume ever for Cinco de Mayo content and all things Mexican food and drink! 

People are navigating a back and forth swing of emotions these days and are eager to indulge, escape, and celebrate. Celebrations will look different this year, but giving them something to plan for and look forward to meets that desire! 

2. Focusing on social media could hold greater ROI right now

For the last few years, eMarketer shows that daily social media use has stayed fairly stable with adults averaging 76–78 minutes per day on social platforms. While they expected 2020 to hold that same pattern, stay-at-home orders have sent that average up seven minutes so far this year!

Which platforms are readers spending the most time on? Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, with Instagram seeing the biggest increase as readers spend four extra minutes per day on average, looking to be informed, inspired, or distracted.

As always, we will continue to keep you up to date on industry trends and changes. In the meantime, please check out our past weekly Coronavirus updates

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