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Segmenting the Online Advertising Networks

comScore Networks announced that their audience data for online advertising networks can now be segmented into broad consumer-focused categories through its 'Media Metrix' service. This capability enables online advertisers to better understand advertising opportunities within specific content areas.

"This enhancement provides advertisers and agencies with the ability to make side-by-side comparisons between individual Web sites and advertising networks, in order to select the optimal mix of media vehicles with which to achieve their goals," commented Jeff Hackett, comScore Networks director of agency relations.

"It enables advertisers to gain deeper insight into the most effective vehicles for reaching consumers within a particular content area, while publishers and advertising networks can now quickly identify and evaluate competitors within their content category. In addition, it can be an effective tool for media planners intending to capitalize on the Internet as a secondary advertising channel for high-profile media events in a specific content area, such as the U.S. Super Bowl and the Oscars."

While major events present advertisers with opportunities to promote their brands on mass-media television, the Internet is increasingly being utilized in a similar manner. With Super Bowl XLI and the 79th Annual Academy Awards on the horizon, leading advertisers are taking advantage of the popularity of related online content areas to reinforce their message.

As an example, in December 2006, the largest advertising network in the Sports category, Sports, reached more than 25 million people online in the U.S. market. The top properties -- ESPN and NFL Internet Group -- also showed expansive audiences, reaching 17 million and 16 million people, respectively.

In the Entertainment category, Entertainment achieved the highest reach in December (75 million unique visitors), followed by Gorilla Nation Media Network, which reached an impressive 63 million unique visitors. AOL Networks Entertainment represented the top Web entity in the category with an extensive reach of 45 million people.

"Consumer attention to these events is not limited to the TV broadcast of the event," continued Hackett. "People turn to the Internet for coverage in the days and weeks preceding the event, giving advertisers a compelling opportunity to integrate effective online programs into their overall marketing strategy."

It will be interesting to witness how marketers and their advertising agencies actually harness this new insight in meaningful ways to better target their addressable market of consumers.

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