When we look at a year in the programmatic timeline, the end of December and the start of a new year typically signifies a slow down in programmatic revenue. Advertisers are left with a slimmer budget for the last quarter of the financial year (January to March) which means that, as a publisher, you’ll probably see those lovely, large CPMs trickle down.
If you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ve probably become accustomed to the highs and lows of your site’s revenue. While revenue will always have multiple variables, such as influxes in audience or a spike of interest in your site, a constant in your revenue pattern will always be what the advertisers are able to spend. We’ll clue you into the budgeting that advertisers typically allot throughout the year, so you know what to expect in 2024.
Quarter 4 (January to March)
Being the last quarter of the financial year, advertisers aren’t going to have lots of wiggle room in their budgets. If they overspent during Q3, there’s a likelihood they’ll cut back more drastically to make it to the end of the year, which you’ll see reflected in your revenue.
New budgets for the next financial year are being drafted. Want to recoup any revenue lost? Invest in ad formats that are going to pay out more in 2024. Video is always a strong option, so if you have the ability to deploy video ads on your site, what are you waiting for? We’ve been talking about the power of video for years, and there’s no sign of it slowing as a lucrative ad format.
Quarter 1 (April to June)
The new financial year means new budgets are getting approved, and new trends to watch for. It also means that while there’s new money available to advertisers, they’re not going to be spending it all straightaway. This will be the time for advertisers to take small, calculated risks on formats or approaches they may not have tried out before, to better plan their spending schedule in the coming quarters.
Your tried and true ad formats will continue to keep pace with the revenue from the start of 2024, but keep an eye out for any dark horse formats that might be earning a little more this quarter. It could be worthwhile experimenting with ad placement, such as exchanging interstitials for interscrollers, or including banner or surround ad formats. This is one of the best times to do site testing as well.
Quarter 2 (July to September)
With the EMEA and US markets shifting into summertime, consumers will be spending less time online to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer sunlit hours. Your revenue isn’t likely to see much of a shift here; it may slide up or scale back, but the change will be small.
Advertisers will start to devote more towards the end of the quarter, as we creep into the key spending season for consumers: Q3.
Quarter 3 (October to December)
The end of the year brings many things. A flurry of holidays and one last push to capture the attention of consumers. Q3 is going to be your biggest time of the year for revenue, as advertisers battle for the most popular placements to reach consumers. Your revenue boost here will likely be significantly higher than any others you’ve experienced in the year.
Make sure your website can keep up with any potential increase in traffic before October, so you don’t miss out on the extra cash in the last few months of the calendar year.