Kantar Media, a unit of WPP, said it would start tracking advertising on digital ad networks, with data about advertisers, products, impressions but not specific dollar expenditures at least at the outset.
A rep said that while Kantar is not reporting ad dollars for networks at this time, it would gauge impressions and percentage shares attributable to individual ad nets.
Kantar said it would be the only researcher to offer such detailed insights, and the lone source of information on industry- and category-specific ad network trending. However, the firm is still sorting out how much of the data, if any, it will release for public consumption. For traditional media, Kantar offers quarterly and annual reports on broad trends as well as ad-spending totals.
“Ad networks have made it possible for site owners to monetize inventory that hasn’t been sold through direct sales channels, but to date, industry- and advertiser-level trending and data analysis for such networks, as well as insight into the source of such display advertising, has not been available” said Mark Nesbitt, president, Kantar Media Intelligence.
The firm’s reporting, he said, will provide new insight “into the volume of network advertising running across the 4,500 premier, top-tier and local sites in the U.S. and Canada that Kantar Media monitors.”
Kantar said the new offering was designed in consultation with agencies, publishers and ad networks, and would enable advertisers and shops to see which brands are running on which networks. While the reporting will not reveal individual site placements, agencies will be able to identify which networks have the highest level of overlap when evaluating flights and campaigns.
To start, Kantar said it would track 29 networks, adding others over time.
According to Kantar’s initial findings from December and January, ad nets accounted for 22 percent of total Internet impressions, while ads sold directly by publishers accounted for 78 percent. Fox Audience Network led with a nearly 35 percent share, followed by AOL Advertising Network (23 percent), ValueClick and 24/7 RealMedia (each with 14 percent).
Marketers with the largest share of ad net impressions for that that two-month period were Victory Records (11 percent), Zynga (7 percent), Sprint Nextel (5 percent), credit report company Privacy Matters (4 percent) and AT&T (3 percent).
Top ad network product categories include amusements and events, games, Internet providers, telecommunications and financial services, per Kantar.