- The Verge: The web’s inventor rallies Europe in support of net neutrality (1 min read)
- Techcrunch: Google Faces Fight In Europe On Search Delisting (12 min read)
- Ad Age: Healthcare.gov and State Sites Still Crawling With Ad Trackers (4 min read)
- IAB: IAB research on Rising Stars Ads and Brand Equity (30+ min read)
- NYT: Vox and BuzzFeed Obtain Interviews With Obama (2 min read)
- Medium: 64 Ways To Think About a News Homepage (4 min read)
- NYT: Lawmakers Call for Investigation Into Verizon’s Use of Mobile ‘Supercookies’ (2 min read)
I was thrilled to see an industry visionary like Ev Williams tackle the measurement discussion with his post “A mile wide, an inch deep” and advocate the use of a dimension beyond simply unique visitors.
We agree that time is a critical dimension and arguably the most important one as noted in our recent report “How Time-based Measurement is Grabbing Publishers’ Attention.”
In terms of measuring the quality of an audience, Ev’s “rectangle analogy” nails it.
Ask any junior high student which rectangle is bigger, one that is three inches wide or one that is two-and-a-half inches wide, and they’ll tell you it’s a nonsensical question unless they have more information — specifically, the height.
And yet, we literally say one company or service is “bigger” based on a single number — specifically, number of people who have “used” it in the last 30 days.
A site that attracts one million visitors for 30 seconds per month is an entirely different business than one that attracts one million visitors for 3 hours per month. The same holds true for brand advertising. We will continue to urge the industry to debate and discuss a time-based measurement world, what it means to brand advertisers and how it more correctly aligns the incentives for creating great media. As Ev so eloquently puts it: “Most Internet companies would build better things and create more value if they paid more attention to depth than breadth.”
It’s an Attention Economy. Content is everywhere and so are the consumers. We need to be in the business of making the most of their precious and valuable time. We’ll be exploring this topic in depth at the 13rd Annual Digital Content Next Summit later this month. It is members-only but we’ll be reporting on the insights and major themes on InContext after the event.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released the “State of Viewability Transaction 2015,” a position paper offering the digital media and advertising industries guidance on how to manage the shift of digital media’s “audience currency” to 100 percent viewability. During this ‘Year of Transition,’ the IAB recommends 70% as the best threshold for buyers and sellers (upping the standard from 50%, which the Media Rating Council (MRC) called for in March of this year).
To foster stronger collaboration and build trust throughout the entire media ecosystem, the IAB recommends that marketers, agencies, and publishers adhere to seven principles during 2015, which it outlines here.
“The entire industry came together to provide true accountability through a single viewability measurement. At this point in time, it’s critical that all parties adhere to the MRC standard and provide for a period of transition while the systems catch up. On behalf of all premium publishers, I commend the IAB’s shepherding the industry through this phase.”
—Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next
Read the IAB’s entire “State of Viewability Transaction 2015” statement.
On Tuesday, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and ad-fraud-detection company White Ops, Inc. released the results of their two-month analysis of billions of ad impressions on 36 sites. Research like this is both ambitious and important, and we applaud the effort. Unfortunately, discussions such as these lend themselves to salacious headlines and data analysis can be challenging (and often misinterpreted or even misrepresented, out of context). Our CEO Jason Kint took offense at one such misleading article and we encourage you to read his comments, which were published on Re/code this week.
We were also pleased to see that one of our member companies, AOL, also quickly stepped into the fray to help shine a light on this issue as well as what they are doing to tackle the issue of ad fraud.
At AOL, combating bot fraud is a top priority. We have several teams that are 100% dedicated to the effort, and we will continue to make significant investments to lead the industry in this battle. Our focus is on creating and integrating the best technologies–both proprietary and best-of-breed through 3rd party partnerships (including the Integral Ad Science, Forensiq, DoubleVerify, MOAT, and more)–that stay ahead of organized criminals. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow and we cannot let our guard down for even a moment. The fight against bot fraud must remain a multilateral effort 24-7, 365.
AOL goes on to discuss its own efforts and to provide resources for those who seek to battle ad fraud, and inform themselves about the issue. Read the AOL article here.
What makes a “Master of Marketing”? One of the undisputed “masters” of the discipline, former P&G CEO Jim Stengel, singled out a few marketing stars in a recent Forbes article, selecting quotes from their presentations to the 3,000 attendees at the ANA’s annual conference in October. What rang true for him — and for me — were the statements reflecting “brand purpose” “innovation” and “standing out.” And, appropriately for those of us in the digital content business, that marketers are competing for attention in a wildly cluttered age of information and disruption:
“You are competing with every piece of content ever made for every person’s attention. You need to be entertaining. Don’t outsmart. Out entertain.”
Dolf van den Brink, President & CEO – Heineken USA
Nearly 3,000 marketers attended the ANA conference last week and left energized with many new insights from an all-star line-up of speakers. These are the best quotes of the week.
Over the past several years, there has been a rush to create ever more digital video content by those you’d expect—traditional broadcast companies such as A+E Networks and NBCUniversal and multiplatform companies like Bloomberg and ESPN—as well as a slew of “print-” or “text-based” companies such as Conde Nast and Business Insider. Yet with companies rushing headlong to heed the siren song of booming digital video viewership and ever-increasing demand for video advertising, it is so good to read a level-headed evaluation of video audiences by way of Chartbeat Chief Data Scientist, Josh Schwartz.
There’s significant momentum for publishers toward increasing the production of video content, on account of both the strength of video as a medium for storytelling and high video CPMs as advertisers begin to move their TV spends online (see the Chicago Tribune’s coverage for one example). An increase in video content across the board, of course, means that it’s all the more important that we have a sense of which parts of our audience we can hope to reach with video…
When visitors land on a text-based article, in almost all circumstances they read some portion of the article’s content… With video consumption, though, the situation is entirely different: Excepting sites that automatically start videos when a visitor lands on the page, there’s massive attrition between the act of visiting a page with video on it and the act of actually pressing play. Of course, if someone doesn’t even play a video, the quality of the content is moot – we can’t possibly hope to win them over with a video that isn’t watched – so our first goal must be to identify and understand who the best candidates are for pressing play.
His piece “Video Production Is on the Rise – But Who’s Watching?” PBS Media Shift is well worth a read for those making a move into, or seeking to optimize their investment in, digital video.
Without a doubt, the quantity of content available online is at an all-time high. One hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 500 million tweets are sent per day. But human attention is a finite resource. If nothing else, there are only so many waking hours in the day. So as we seek to create a media ecosystem that is vibrant and viable, we must recognize that attention is a true measure of success.
As Jon Slade, commercial director of global digital advertising and insight at the Financial Times, said, “It’s about time we stopped counting quantity and looked instead at quality — specifically for brand campaigns. Attention is what matters, not pings from an ad server. Let’s look at outcomes that matter!”
In a survey conducted for a forthcoming report by Digital Content Next, which represents the top digital publishers, 100 percent of the participating members indicated that they either already use time-based metrics or plan to do so in the future, and 80 percent demonstrated interest in transacting on the basis of time…
Views Have Long Been Digital Advertising’s Currency. Those Days May Be Numbered.
It was a was a throwaway line on the 50th slide in a PowerPoint deck. But that seemingly innocuous bullet point — “Time as a currency to trade?” — stands to upend the digital-advertising industry.
In March 2013, Jon Slade, commercial director of digital advertising and insight at the Financial Times, presented the idea to the paper’s Asia sales staff. Next month, the London-based paper will roll out ad rates based on time rather than impressions, charging some advertisers by the number of hours their ads appear in front of targeted groups of readers. The measurement — cost per hour, or CPH — shatters a decades-old media pricing model that values volume above all else…
“We’re definitely challenging the status quo. No one has come up with
a new currency in digital advertising in — a while.”
This moment matters for publishers like the FT, according to Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, formerly the Online Publishers Association. “We’re in a medium that’s fast changing and evolving,” he said.
“I’m hoping we’ll look back a decade from now and see this
as a critical milestone.”