September 5, 2016 | Danielle Chatterton
The expansion of internet-based advertising is transforming the advertising business, by providing more efficient methods of matching advertisers and consumers.
More and more publishers are trying to opt out of the page view cycle, creating more efficient matches between consumers and advertisers by instead, pushing the idea that what their advertisers really want is not page views, but attention.
Nowadays, advertising is facing fresh digital challenges, like ad blocking, lack of trust and transparency, and the growing difficulty of measuring exposure.
The Financial Times has been at the forefront of the attention metrics momentum, after testing their concept in 2014 which discovered that measuring ads by cost per hour (CPH) represents a new opportunity. Their pilot programme offered advertisers an avenue by which they could reach a highly influential global audience with greater brand impact through genuine views and engagement. Charging advertisers on exposure time, as opposed to impressions.
The cost-per-hour metric prioritises quality over quantity. As digital technologies have evolved, our ability to offer a more sophisticated and rewarding methodology has improved. Clients are only being charged for ads that are actively seen for five seconds or more, with active time indicated by whether a person scrolls, clicks, or uses a mouse.
The Wall Street Journal, Economist and Bloomberg have also experimented with selling ads based on attention metrics. The Economist Group was the first publisher to offer marketers the opportunity to buy user attention cross-platform – both in-app and online, rolling out a new set of attention metrics to help advertisers buy time rather than impressions for their ads.
Does this signal the need for a review of how we measure campaign success?
Jonah Goodhart, CEO and co-founder of Moat analytics, emphasised the importance of this trend “The trend for marketers and publishers to begin transacting on attention metrics is a key shift in the industry and signals the importance of changing how we evaluate advertising success in digital.”