the Rubicon Project’s Q3 Market Report Finds Signs of an Online Ad Rebound Fueled By Audience-Driven Display Growth

Ad Operations OnlineDemand-side Technologies Like Real-Time Bidding Present New Risk for Publishers

LOS ANGELES – the Rubicon Project, the Internet advertising infrastructure company, reveals exclusive insight into emerging industry trends and market shifts occurring in late 2009 in the seventh installment of its Online Advertising Market Report series.

Included within the report is the latest Rubicon 20 Index, a measure of performance across a number of factors (including CPM, revenue and traffic volume) on a roster of 20 of the Web’s most heavily-trafficked properties. CPMs across the Rubicon 20 Index have risen by an average of 8 percent vs. Q2. The growth was driven by increased spending by some of the ad industry’s core advertisers – business & finance, telecom and automotive brands – that had previously been holding back.

“We’ve remained optimistic throughout the last year regarding the health of the online advertising industry, therefore the growth and resilience in Q3 – proven by the $160 million invested in the ad network and exchange this quarter – came as no surprise. Based on pricing and spending behavior from customers and partners, as well as our early Q4 results, we predict the market will continue to improve through year-end, leading into a still-stronger 2010,” said Craig Roah, COO and Founder.

Looking forward, packaging audience effectively for display advertisers will be a key means of differentiation for publishers. One key area of focus in this report is the hot topic of real-time bidding (RTB) on specific audience segments and targets. While garnering a great deal of attention in the press and from some ad networks and their partners, there is significant risk for publishers in current implementations of RTB. While great for advertisers who want to “cherry pick” impressions and users, RTB has the potential to drive down overall publisher revenue and loss of data control, and encourage gross arbitrage, the very problem that gave ad networks a bad name with publishers over the last few years. The report analyzes this risk and outlines the steps necessary to ensure publishers fully understand both the opportunity and risks of RTB.

Additional key forecasts and trends addressed in this report include:

– Audience-based buying and selling – as opposed to trafficking based only on volume or reach – is becoming a far more valuable way for both advertisers and publishers to do business;
– How selling by audience has helped education and recruitment publisher CareerBuilder grow CPMs across all inventory 73% in 2009;
– Business & finance, telecom and automotive brands brought more dollars to the table in Q3 with a significant increase in ad spending;
– A detailed examination of the International advertising market, including EMEA and APAC;
– International opportunities, such as the need for yield management solutions in Asia Pacific, optimization tools to help monetize international inventory in Australia and diversification of the search and display ad markets in China;
– A look at how publishers need to regain equilibrium with demand-side players to ensure the success of the online advertising ecosystem heading into 2010 and beyond.

Also included in this report is market insight from industry leaders including David Helmreich, Vice President Interactive Markets at TARGUSinfo; Randy White, General Manager of CareerBuilder; Tom Shields, CEO of Yieldex and Jason Kelly, Vice President of Strategy & Revenue Management, Digital at Time Inc.

To access the full Q3 Online Advertising Market Report, as well as past published reports for free, visit:

About the Rubicon Project

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Project launched in 2007 with a mission to automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry. The company’s Yield Management Optimization platform, REVV for Publishers™, is engineered to accelerate revenue for premium Web publishers. Backed by $42 million in funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, IDG Ventures and GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, the Rubicon Project serves premium publishers like NBC Universal, Gannett and CareerBuilder; optimizing more than 45 billion ads each month and reaching 500 million unique Internet users. Ranked second in overall Internet reach by Quantcast, the Rubicon Project also helps ad sales channels around the world gain access to precise audience-segmented inventory, at broad scale. Yield Management Optimization drives revenue lift ranging from 30-300% for the Rubicon Project’s customers.