Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
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“First step towards industry standardization of carbon calculation”: AOP partners with SeenThis to reduce website data usage by 65%

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has partnered with adaptive streaming technology company, SeenThis, to become the first trade body to stream images on its website and cut its internet carbon emissions, with the aim of encouraging digital publishers to explore and adopt similar solutions. 

Initial results have seen AOP reduce its data usage by 65% – greatly exceeding original predictions – and improve its website image load time by between 65-85%, resulting in a better user experience. SeenThis has so far focused on achieving these data savings through image streaming, with a view to develop its capabilities around richer content streaming including video in the near future.

Although initiatives like Ad Net Zero have already been welcomed by the industry, these primarily focus on advertiser-related activity, and do not take into account the impact from publishers. The new partnership with SeenThis is seen as a potential first step towards industry standardization of carbon calculation across both the buy- and sell-side, factoring in the significant impact of data transfer emissions. 

Feedback from our members and research from SeenThis brought greater attention to the need for common industry standards for carbon calculations. The results speak for themselves and we hope this not only encourages other digital publishers to explore similar solutions, but also initiates important conversations in the wider industry.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director, AOP

To accelerate the initiative, the AOP is now leading conversations with publishers, trade bodies, and advertisers by creating a dedicated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) steering group where members can share best practice and discuss industry solutions in more detail. 

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Sweden, SeenThis has been pioneering the use of adaptive streaming technology to ‘transform the distribution and climate impact of digital content’. The use of adaptive streaming technology removes many of the limitations set by legacy ad serving technologies and, because ads load instantly, the company claims this improves ad performance by generating more actual ad views. The company works with a number of publishers including The Guardian, LADbible, Wasted Talent and The Irish Times Group for digital advertising.

Publishers have the ability to not only use SeenThis streaming technology for their advertising but also for their website delivery – both of which will help to reduce the data transfer of assets across the internet and lead to significant Co2 reductions. 

AOP spokesperson speaking to WNIP

Gareth Holmes, VP EMEA & APAC, at SeenThis, says, “Streaming technology initiates what is hopefully the first of many solutions to encompass the whole spectrum of industry needs in media and advertising. We want to make a real impact on the world’s carbon emissions and with AOP’s help, we hope to get as many industry leaders to be part of the journey – and the solution – as possible.”