Advertising Audience Engagement
2 mins read

“Engaged time trumps every other metric”: Why traditional viewability metrics pale beside engaged time

How reader attention can drive more revenue

In a new ebook from publisher technology platform, Sovrn, a clear challenge is laid down to publishers to reconsider their approach to viewability metrics.

Sovrn, who works with tens of thousands of publishers worldwide, provides conclusive data to show that whilst web metrics have evolved from simple visitor and pageview counts, these fail to show whether an ad is actually seen by a reader. The implication is that publishers are losing out on $thousands of untapped revenue by simply employing the wrong metrics.

The IAB currently defines a viewable impression as one where at least 50% of the ad’s area is displayed on screen for at least one second. This definition provides a crucial baseline for measuring ad inventory quality at scale, but it doesn’t say much about ad performance.

More sophisticated measures based on audience interactions – page scrolls, mouse clicks, and keyboard activity – are a better indicator.

Sovrn ‘Capturing The Signals’ eBook

Engagement time is defined as the total time a page is open and a user is deemed to be active, rather than looking at more ‘traditional’ viewing metrics which fail to consider reader actions such as opening pages to view later, etc – actions which skew results and harm publisher revenue.

According to Sovrn, one of the key benefits of measuring real engagement time is that it helps publishers weed out these issues so they can accurately measure reader engagement. By recording these signals – as many as 48 engagement events – a publisher can measure how long the user is actively engaged with a page and how much time they were investing in the content, not just how long the page was open.

This in turn provides more granular data to the publisher, allowing them to identify their most valuable ad inventory and price it accordingly, driving more revenue from engaged visitors.

Sovrn’s ‘Capturing The Signals’ eBook explains how publishers can harness engagement time fully, uplifting ad revenue significantly using Sovrn’s //Signal technology.

Increase Revenue From Engaged Users

For the research, Sovrn partnered with demand-side platform Avocet and attention technology company Lumen to study the correlation between Engaged Time and attention. Using Lumen’s eye-tracking data and predictive modeling, as well as Sovrn’s //Signal technology, the study analyzed more than 3 million global impressions and 100 ad units to identify signs that a reader actually looked at an ad while it was in view. The study revealed that Engaged Time captures 2.6 times more attention than viewable time. 

The most valuable audience segments are those paying the most attention. Sovrn //Signal is an easy-to-use publisher data tool that lets you convert that value into earnings. With just a single line of code, //Signal equips you with the ability to understand and segment both your inventory and audiences in a way that is attractive to buyers

Sovrn ‘Capturing The Signals’ eBook

Sovrn //Signal offers a way to measure, compare, and monetize reader engagement, ultimately driving greater ad value by:

  1. Measuring and benchmarking performance
  2. Predicting performance and optimize pricing
  3. Increasing revenue from engaged users

Disclosure: What’s New in Publishing is wholly owned by Sovrn Holdings, Inc.