NEW YORK: Publishers are increasingly looking to welcome ads as a source of revenue, as homepage takeovers decrease in relevance.
Digiday observed that "we are in a post-homepage era" as visitors to websites now tend to arrive on article pages. It noted that this was especially true of business-oriented site sites, such as Forbes which describes welcome ads as a "gateway" that can grab attention before people enter the site.
"Publishers are seeing downward pressure on standardized ads, so this is one area they can control more closely and try to maintain a premium around," said an agency source, adding: "It's not surprising they want to bombard users with as many of these as possible."
"They're interruptive, but it's usually relatively easy to click past them," Ben Kunz, vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, told Digiday.
"You can use them to get in people's faces," he said, "but I don't feel like they anger users as much as some other ads."
The issue of intrusiveness runs counter to recent buzz around the concept of native advertising as spending on banner ads declines and marketers are urged to think more like journalists.
But Yahoo! research presented at Warc's Online Research: Now and Next 2012 conference found that a McDonald's ad featuring a takeover and an animated background was the most intrusive in theory but had the highest likeability in practice.
Welcome ads command a premium for publishers but many appear to be overdoing that with prices above $150 CPM not uncommon.
"The costs are crazy, so we don't usually recommend them to clients," said Kunz, adding that clients could often get a return on investment buying standardized inventory or through exchanges.
Data sourced from Digiday; additional content by Warc staff