What is a share of voice?

This term generally refers to the percentage of available inventory that an advertiser will achieve through a proposed ad placement. If an advertiser bought all available impressions on a site (i.e., had an exclusive sponsorship), they would achieve 100% share of voice. The formula for calculating is:

Ad impressions included on proposal / Total ad impressions available for unit during relevant period 

Share of voice is often requested by an advertiser / agency when completing proposals for an upcoming display ad campaign. Typically, there is a column on a proposal template where the publisher can indicate the share of voice associated with each line item that comprises that campaign.

Below is a sample display ad proposal (SOV column highlighted for emphasis):

Example of Share of Voice (SOV)

SOV is usually calculated on an ad unit basis, and can be referenced as a percentage of a single ad unit on a page or group of pages. For example, assume that every page on a site contains a 728×90 leaderboard and the site generated about 10 million pageviews monthly. A proposal for 1 million leaderboard impressions during a one month period would equate to a 10% share of voice.

If an advertiser is running a homepage takeover or other roadblock, these would generally be considered to be a 100% share of voice placement. Even though the advertiser doesn’t necessarily have the entire site taken over, they would own all of the impressions associated with the specified pages

SOV Considerations

Many advertisers like to achieve at least 10% share of voice on their placements. There is no real benefit to this threshold, and the share of voice realized ultimately has no impact on the performance of a campaign. This has more to do with the preferences of advertisers; they like to feel as if their ads have a meaningful presence on a site instead of appearing to only one out of 100 visitors or so.

This is one of those aspects of direct ad sales that will have to be managed by the representative. If a client is really concerned about realizing a high share of voice, the publisher may need to consolidate multiple line items into one.

The importance of the share of voice

The share of voice of your brand is a great metric to help you gauge how visible your brand is as well as to evaluate the results of your marketing efforts over a specific time period, in a specific region, or amongst different channels.

A thorough analysis of your share of voice will help you understand the impact your brand is making on the industry, as well as identify how you can improve your social strategy and reach your business goals.

Pros of Measuring Share of Voice

Some of the pros of measuring share of voice include:

  • Perform competitive analysis on a market-wide scale
  • Use SOV as a way to segment your target audience.
  • Evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns.
  • Improve future campaigns based on findings in SOV reports


What does share of voice mean in advertising?

Share of voice is a term generally refers to the percentage of available inventory that an advertiser will achieve through a proposed ad placement

How does share of voice work?

Share of Voice models can be contract models where ad placement and content are pre-negotiated. This way, advertisers have the option to have longer advertising campaigns where content does not need to change based on the availability of advertising space.

How to calculate share of voice?

To calculate the share of voice is just simply by taking the number of Ad impressions included on the proposal and dividing it by the total ad impressions available for unit during the relevant period