Carriers are Making More From Mobile Ads than Publishers Are

Consumers pay 16.6x more in data costs than top 50 news sites are making in ad revenue

The New York Times published an excellent piece called “The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites” that explains how iOS 9 content blockers significantly reduce the size of news website page loads across the top sites they looked at, since “more than half of all data came from ads and other content filtered by ad blockers”. An example image from their report:

Source: New York Times
  1. How much ad revenue is that news website making on the average user?

Finally, put it all together…

For each site, take Mb/minute x Avg per/Mb mobile data cost, and weight the average by each site’s monthly unique mobile visitors (so heavier data-using sites get more weight in our calculation) and normalize to one minute of time on each site, for a value ranging from $0.01 to $0.24 per minute. Compare that figure to our average revenue of $0.15/hour = $0.0025/minute and weight the average to get the result:

16.6x more in data costs to the user than mobile ad revenue to these top 50 news sites on average

Site analysis, All Rights Reserved 2015
  • 2013: 1,701Kb (up 32%)
  • 2012: 1,250Kb (up 30%)
  • 2011: 961Kb

ads & integrity product management at facebook - our team protects people from mistakes or malicious behavior by businesses

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store