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In the early days of digital publishing, publishers and ad networks were free to load up their sites with ads anywhere on the page without a thought for whether or not they were going to be seen. According to some analysts, this left more than 50% of ads delivered online going unseen.
It wasn’t until April 2014, that the industry first started to raise concerns over ad viewability. Shortly after, the Media Ratings Council (MRC) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) introduced an industry standard for ads to be 50% in-view for more than one second before they can be deemed viewable.
While regulating ads in this way was inevitable and essential, it has presented the industry with a challenge – buyers only want ads that load on view, but publishers are understandably reluctant to fully adopt this model for fear of missing out on the revenue generated by ads that might load out of view.
To enable publishers to embrace this shift they need to understand reader engagement. This can help them to value their load-on-view ad placements in a way that prevents revenue loss.
The MRC’s Viewability Standards are now the accepted minimum, however publishers are still free to set up deals that deliver different levels of viewability and engagement, with variable pricing. This allows the buy side to make educated decisions on what to buy. Ultimately, buyers will pay a premium for better quality.
A Chartbeat study recently revealed that after a user has engaged with an ad for 25 seconds, diminishing returns start to set in and the brand impact is significantly reduced. Understanding this and setting a threshold of 30-45 seconds for reloads allows publishers to further increase the return they get from impressions that offer greater engagement.
Minimum viewability thresholds offered a valuable benchmark, but buyers are now looking beyond this. Publishers should be looking to deliver against the future needs of their buyers, and gaining deeper insights into engagement time is key to doing this.
Publisher solutions specialist, Sovrn, released VET Reload specifically to help publishers make impressions with higher engagement time available to advertisers at a premium, but through a transparent process.
To find out more about this and how to gain a deeper understanding of engagement time, download Sovrn’s free User Engagement Whitepaper.
Download the whitepaper here