Online video ads outstrip network TV costs

Michelle Clancy | 09 April 2015

In a 2014 advertising cost analysis for TV and Internet, SQAD found that the average CPM for an online, in-stream video ad in 2014 was $24.20, about 60% more expensive than the average 18-49 CPM for cable TV, which came in at $15.11.

Although Network TV was the most expensive advertising medium, with an average CPM of $43.06, CPMs for both network and cable TV ads decreased in 2014. The average CPM for a network prime time ad was down 2% from $44.11 in 2013. Cable TV primetime 18-49 CPMS were down 3% from $15.63 in 2013.
Display ads were the least expensive medium, and 72% cheaper than in-stream video, with an average CPM of $10.85.
"Many of the highest in-stream video CPMS reported in December had some kind of network or cable affiliation such as CBS, FOX, NBC or CNN," said Tom Adams, director of SQAD WebCosts. "This leads us to believe that traditional cable and network TV continues to heavily influence digital in-stream video CPMS."
In 2014, the combined average CPM for NBCUniversal ($34.56), CBS television ($29.92), and ABC television ($22.41) was about $29, which is around $5 more than the $24.20 all category, in-stream average. Well-known cable entities like NBC Sports, the Golf Channel and Bloomberg TV also ranked high in average CPMS for the year.