MySpace, Facebook Move Lots of Display Ads, Not So Much Money

Published on September 1, 2009
by Peter Kafka

kingkonglivesJust how big are MySpace and Facebook? Big enough to account for nearly one in five of the display ads Web marketers buy in the U.S.

That factoid comes via Web-tracking service comScore (SCOR), which says the two sites accounted for 17.4 percent of the display ads in the U.S. market in July.

News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace, in the midst of a turnaround effort,¬†has a slight lead over Facebook–9.2 percent of the market versus 8.2 percent. That makes sense since MySpace has always been aggressive about loading¬†up with ads, while Facebook has been fairly reticent, much to the dismay of the “when are you going to monetize?” crowd. (Click table to enlarge.)


That’s something you knew intuitively, of course. But interesting to see it in graphic form.

Another data point you already knew, but may still find worthwhile to see in black and white: Just how small the scraps are for the rest of much of the social network ad world. By comScore’s count, the next eight-biggest social networks command a collective 1.4 percent of the market. (By the way, ever heard of before? Do you know anyone who claims to be a user?)

Remember that we’re just talking about overall impressions, not dollars. And ad impressions on social networks are famously cheap, so this stat only tells part of the story. But it’s an important part. It illustrates the potential that the services have, even if they haven’t capitalized on it (not that they haven’t tried).

Meanwhile, here’s a bonus table from comScore laying out the top advertisers on social networks. No surprise to see the likes of AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) here. But perhaps it’s noteworthy that Verizon (VZ), the strongest U.S. telco, spends the least on social media impressions. Meanwhile, social network app makers/services like Zynga are spending heavily.


(News Corp. owns Dow Jones, which owns this Web site.)

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