This week in the industry, we’re seeing publisher RPMs stabilize (a good sign!) and a major change to the Amazon Associates program that may make you reconsider your ad strategy on certain pages on your site. We also kicked off our vertical webinar series to help share the latest traffic trends, and our list of the latest discounted or free resources for publishers during COVID-19.
AdThrive COVID-19 coverage
Click here to browse all of our posts about the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the digital media industry.
What we’re seeing with ad trends
We’re over two weeks into the second quarter of the year. Things are still better than the end of Q1, albeit the trend is quite flat. CPMs and RPMs for most publishers are not moving much in either direction. While everyone would love to see an upward trend, things actually aren’t too far off from 2019’s trendline — when there wasn’t a pandemic massively impacting ad spend.
This chart shows the trend of RPMs for all AdThrive publishers indexed to 100 for April 1 of each year.
This allows us to compare the trend from last year to the trend from this year to show how things are relatively better, worse, or the same from day to day. Clearly things are trending a bit worse than last year — we’d want the two lines to be right on top of each other if the trend were the same.
While a day-to-day index that’s “slightly worse than last year” isn’t the performance we’re all looking for, it is a significant improvement over the declines the industry was seeing in March. We continue to see some optimistic signs that things will remain flat (rather than down) for a while, and then as quarantines begin to lift and businesses begin to reopen, things will start to (slowly) move in a positive direction.
Amazon Associates Program cuts commissions
This week, Amazon announced changing commissions in their affiliate program across many key categories, starting April 21. As an example, the “Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry” category will see commissions reduced from 8% to 3%, and “Health and Personal Care” will change from 4.5% to 1%.
We know many of you rely on this affiliate income and will be taking a hit to your bottom line as a result of these cuts, in a time when things are already tough. Besides exploring alternative affiliate options, one way to recover some of that lost revenue is by revisiting your ad strategy on affiliate-based posts.
While the click-through rate on display ads is quite low, many publishers prefer not to run display ads on affiliate revenue focused posts. It’s an important time to reconsider this, though, especially with Amazon affiliate RPM (average earnings per 1,000 pageviews) set to decrease drastically. Boost earnings by running AdThrive ads on any pages where they were turned off before — here’s how to turn those back on.
We’ve kicked off our vertical-specific webinars to help you understand and use traffic trends
Last week we shared the latest data and insights for our Food publishers, with the first webinar in our Vertical Deep-Dive Series. You can catch the replay in our AdThrive Community Facebook group.
Our next webinar will focus on the Travel vertical — see the details below and register to join us!
AdThrive Vertical Deep Dive: Travel + COVID-19
Wednesday, April 22
3:00 pm EDT
Sign up here
(open to current AdThrive publishers)
Discounted or free resources for publishers during COVID-19
We’ve pulled together a list of companies that are currently offering their tools or services for free or at a discounted price, concentrating on those we feel are most useful to publishers. The list includes SEO courses and tools, small business relief funds, creative software, and resources for health and wellness, finance, and kids.
We aren’t endorsing any of these products or services or receiving any kind of a kickback or incentive. We just want to pass along the information as a helpful resource! Click here for the full list.
Stay tuned for the latest updates — we’ll keep you posted any time we have valuable information to share. It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold. In the meantime, we’re here for you, and we’re in this together!