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3 Most Popular Websites to Advertise On in 2017

Jan 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM

According to Recode, advertisers spent $209 billion on digital advertising worldwide in 2017 (that’s 41% of the market!). 

So, the question is: Where are brands allocating the most digital budget? Which sites are reaping the most profits? We analyzed Pathmatics data to feature three of the most popular websites for digital advertising in 2017 (from January 1, 2017 - December 26, 2017, to be exact).

1. YouTube

Over the course of 2017, brands across all industries spent upwards of $3 billion collectively to advertise on YouTube. The online video-sharing website generated 243 billion impressions. Direct advertisers made up 94% of the sites total ad sales, while 4,248 indirect advertisers collected the last 6%.

Apple, YouTube’s leading advertiser for the select dates, spent a whopping $207 million to advertise on the site. That’s almost 7% of all 7,829 advertisers. Wix.com, which spent around $100 million, ranked behind Apple as the second highest spender on the site. 

YouTube was also the most popular site to advertise on in five of the highest spending industries, including financial services, computers and consumer electronics, auto, retail and media. YouTube’s most lucrative industry, financial services, spent over $200 million to advertise via desktop display, desktop and mobile video platforms, generating over 20 billion impressions.

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2. Amazon

Not only did Amazon claim the top spot for highest digital ad spender in 2016, the ecommerce giant also remains one of the top sites for other brands to advertise on. Amazon earned upwards of $700 million in digital ad spend and produced over 196 billion impressions for other companies buying ads. Direct advertising comprised 63% of the site’s ad sales, while indirect advertising made up the other 37%. 

But, who’s betting the most on Amazon? Comcast Corporation spent more than $41 million in 2017, and received 21.8 billion in impressions. Comcast also spent $39 million of their total ad spend on indirect advertising, making them the top indirect advertiser for Amazon. As for direct advertising, LG topped the list, spending around $31.5 million on ads, collecting almost 6 billion impressions.

Significant to note: YouTube did dominate the computer and consumer electronics industry (30% of all ad spend went to the site), but didn’t necessarily see the most return. Amazon received around $100 million less in ad spend, but generated over 30 billion more impressions. If you’re in the computer and consumer electronics industry, it may be wise to direct more of your digital advertising towards Amazon, rather than YouTube.

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3. AOL

Coming in third, but a far third compared to YouTube and Amazon, is AOL. The online service provider collected around $360 million in revenue from companies, but generated upwards of 60 billion impressions.

It’s also interesting that a majority of the sites that pay for advertising on AOL, pay for indirect advertising methods compared to the popular direct method. Of AOL’s ad sales, 62% account for companies advertising indirectly. Procter & Gamble tops the list of all advertisers buying ads on AOL, spending almost $32 million for upwards of 1.7 billion impressions. Capital One spent the second most to advertise on AOL, at around $21.8 million.

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Jordan Kramer

Written by Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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