When you subscribe to cable television, you typically have to decide between different packages, each offering various channels focusing on sports, movies, cartoons, and so on. In addition, you have the option of subscribing to other channels that interest you. Hence, the charges on your monthly cable bill are for your subscribed services. In contrast, the charges on your Internet bill are for connecting to the Internet rather than for the content on the web. Hence, content providers on the Internet are typically dependent on other ways to generate revenue. Companies such as CNN, the Washington Post, Google, or Yahoo!, which provide content for free, subsidize their expenses by advertising revenue. One of the most common forms of advertising on the web is display ads, which have moved from simple static images to rich, interactive advertisements. Although the cost per thousand views may be only between US$8 and US$40, display ads are big business.

Which sites do people visit most often? Research firm comScore regularly provides rankings of the web’s most popular “web properties,” based on the number of unique monthly visitors. The top five properties in August 2016 were:

â–  Google Sites: 240.7 million unique visitors

â–  Yahoo Sites: 213.2 million unique visitors

â–  Facebook: 206.3 million unique visitors

â–  Microsoft Sites: 188.8 million unique visitors

â–  Amazon Sites: 186.3 million unique visitors

1. Search the web for the most up-to-date statistics.

2. As a team, interpret these numbers. What is striking/ important about these statistics?

3. How have the numbers changed? Which industries seem to be most interested in online advertising? Why?

4. Using your spreadsheet software of choice, create a graph/figure that effectively visualizes the statistics/ changes you consider most important.

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