Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Last Week at OPS NY

June 18th, 2015 by Juliana

Chartbeat had a blast at the OPS New York conference last week. Our team loved hanging out with ad operations and digital revenue teams and learning all about what everyone’s working on these days.

Big crowd thinking about big issues
There are a ton of major questions on the minds of the Ops community, and it showed. From programmatic to non-human traffic to new site redesigns, there were a lot of interesting discussions going on and ideas shared about all things revenue and ads.

Engagement is a “logical extension of viewability”
At least that’s what Michael Silberman, the General Manager of Digital at New York Media thinks. Michael joined fellow bright minds Shenan Reed (MEC Head of Digital, North America), Michael Sebastian (Reporter, Ad Age) and moderator Romy Newman on the OPS Chartbeat panel, “Beyond Viewability: Making Engagement Tangible”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.28.34 PM

Discussing this topic to a packed crowd, the panelists agreed that while there is still work to be done in standardizing viewability metrics amongst brands, agencies, and publishers, measuring and monetizing engagement will continue to grow in popularity. Michael Silberman echoed this when he commented on reporting on attention data to clients,

“There is no question that our clients and their agency-partners want more information – want to better understand how our audience is better connecting with their brands.”

Multiple Shoutouts to the Financial Times
The Financial Times Cost Per Hour metric and time-based selling system got much love at OPS. Multiple speakers mentioned the Financial Times’s success in selling time as one of the most exciting initiatives in the industry.

Additionally, widespread interest in time-based selling was apparent at the Financial Times’s session at OPS – many questions were asked about the how-tos of selling time – while the audience got fired up discussing about the benefits of monetizing time over impressions.

We’re already so excited about next year’s OPS! Shoot us an email if you’d like to chat in the meantime!

Metrics 101: Lifetime Exposure

January 13th, 2015 by Alexandra

As part of our larger efforts to help build an Attention Economy—in which success is measured not by clicks and pageviews but by time and audience attention earned—we’ve publicly released our Description of Methodology, which outlines the measurement process on which Chartbeat’s MRC accreditation is based.

Given that this document is a bit well, hefty, we figured we’d briefly explain a couple of our signature metrics here on the blog.

Need a primer before we get started? Check out our Metrics 101 series:

  • Metrics 101: Viewability
  • Metrics 101: Average Active Exposure Time
  • What is Lifetime Exposure?

    Quick Recap: Active Exposure Time measures the amount of time users spend engaging on a page while an ad is in view.

    Definition: Lifetime Exposure measures the amount of time an average visitor spends with all viewable impressions over the course of a campaign. So basically, Lifetime Exposure shows advertisers the total amount of time an audience actively spent with their ads across an entire campaign.

    Use it in a sentence: “On average, users spent over 30 seconds with ads in this campaign, with a Lifetime Exposure of 37 seconds per user.”

    Chartbeat Methodology: We calculate Lifetime Exposure as the following: Total exposed time for all cookied users / all cookied users.

    What’s the Industry Saying About Time Metrics?

    “Moving to time-based media currency is the smartest move that digital publishers can make. There is a reason that the foundation of the TV ad business is time-based. It equates to the amount of attention that audiences give their ads. If digital publishers want to be comparable to TV dollars, particularly as they develop more robust sight, sound and motion content, they will need time-based packaging of their ad product.”

    -Dave Morgan, CEO and Founder, Simulmedia

    “We pay more attention to time spent reading than number of visitors at Medium because, in a world of infinite content — where there are a million shiny attention-grabbing objects a touch away and notifications coming in constantly — it’s meaningful when someone is actually spending time. After all, for a currency to be valuable, it has to be scarce…The problem with time, though, is it’s not actually measuring value. It’s measuring cost as a proxy for value.”

    Ev Williams, CEO, Medium

    “Your clicks are valuable, and your eyeballs are valuable, but to advertisers your time is the most precious commodity of all — and publishers say they want to sell ads based on the time readers spend on their sites, not mere pageviews. So, the logic goes, the more time you spent with a story, the more expensive the accompanying ads would be. In a world that values time over views, quality could trump clickbait—and, after all, isn’t quality the thing we want in the first place?”

    Julia Greenberg, Research Editor, Wired

    “It doesn’t matter if consumers hit your site or app in 30-second blocks of time; the more time users spend on a site or app over the course of a month, the more likely it is that they value the content they find there. A paradigm in which time invested results in actual value — rather than often-random clicks and taps — encourages further investment in quality content by publishers and marketers alike.”

    Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next

    Chartbeat became the first analytics company accredited to measure attention for both display advertising and content. The Media Rating Council has accredited 21 of the metrics featured in Chartbeat’s advertising platform including viewability and active exposure time.

    It’s About Time Party Recap

    December 17th, 2014 by Juliana

    Chartbeat loves any excuse to party, and last Thursday, December 11th was no different: We got together with the Financial Times to co-host a party feting time and attention in digital advertising. There’s been a lot of discussions in the digital media landscape this year around moving past the click, valuing attention and using time as a currency, so we figured why not get some of the boldest minds in advertising together to share their ideas?

    And so we did, with flash talks from these bright folks:

  • Nancy Brennan, Global Head of Marketing, Banking and Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Coleen Cahill, Executive Director of Communications, Brand Union
  • Brendan Spain, US Commercial Director, Financial Times
  • Tony Haile, CEO and Fearless Leader, Chartbeat
  • IMG_2667

    Nancy spoke about the need for brands to breakthrough to their users and capture their attention, whereas Coleen discussed the ongoing importance of narratives and storytelling as brands try to connect with their users. Things got more tactical with Brendan sharing his experiences thus far piloting time-based campaigns with clients for the Financial Times, and Tony wrapped things up with some of his predictions for 2015.

    It was a blast getting top publishers, agencies, and brands in the same room to talk about these hot topics – it probably helped that guests were fueled by an open bar featuring the Attention Grabber, the night’s signature cocktail.

    That’s all I’ve got to report but we’re planning our next event for early 2015. If you’ve got a hot topic or brilliant minds you want to hear about/from, let me know.

    Metrics 101: Average Active Exposure Time

    November 11th, 2014 by Alexandra

    As part of our larger efforts to help build an Attention Economy—in which success is measured not by clicks and page views but by time and audience attention earned—we’ve publicly released our Description of Methodology, which outlines the measurement process on which Chartbeat’s MRC accreditation is based.

    Given that the Description of Methodology document is a bit well, hefty, we figured we’d briefly explain a couple of our signature metrics here on the blog.

    What is Active Exposure Time?

    Active Exposure Time measures the amount of time users spend engaging on a page while an ad is in view. How do we know if a user is engaging, you ask? Chartbeat’s JavaScript is constantly listening for acts of engagement on the in-focus webpage within an active browser that indicate when a user is actively engaged on the page.

    So, when Chartbeat measures Active Exposure Time, we’re asking the following questions:

  • Is the audience engaged? (i.e. have they exhibited some kind of engagement behavior like clicking, scrolling or typing in the past 5 seconds)
  • Is the audience engaged in an active browser in an active window?
  • Is the advertisement viewable per MRC guidelines (at least 50% of the unit is in view for at least 1 second?)
  • Time Metrics


    The average number of seconds for which an ad unit is viewable while a user is actively engaged with the content on the page. This only applies to impressions deemed viewable. In other words, Average Active Exposure Time shows advertisers the average amount of time each viewable ad is exposed to an engaged audience.

    Chartbeat Methodology

    We calculate Average Active Exposure Time as the following: total exposed time for all viewable impressions / all viewable impressions

    Chartbeat only sums and reports Active Exposure Time if audience engagement criteria and MRC viewability criteria are met.

    What’s the Industry Saying About Time Metrics?

    “Once we have the opportunity to see (viewability) nailed as a first step cross-platform currency, the sequential next step currency is engagement. Short of scalable, affordable neuro measures (of emotional response), time is the best surrogate to measure engagement.”

    Mike Donahue, EVP, 4A’s

    “Time metrics are a way to justify moving from standard transaction based units to high-impact units and something other than click-through rate to measure the success.”

    Steve Ahlberg, VP, Advertising Solutions & Product Management, Gannett

    “The digital publishing media metric of the future will include some form of attention-based metrics. Valuing content based on the amount of time consumers spend with it provides a meaningful, cross-platform measurement for brand marketers and publishers rather than counting links and clicks. This has the potential to solve a host of industry problems.”

    Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next

    “That means we can tell the difference between a second where someone is actively engaged with an ad in view and a second where someone has an ad in view but has been distracted by a friend asking them if they want coffee. It brings an unprecedented level of accuracy to the measurement of attention.”

    Jon Slade, Commercial Director of Digital Advertising, Financial Times

    Chartbeat has become the first analytics company accredited to measure attention metrics for both display advertising and content. The Media Rating Council has accredited 21 metrics featured in Chartbeat’s advertising platform including viewability and active exposure time.

    Economics of Ad Refreshing

    November 5th, 2014 by Justin

    Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the fall 2014 issue of the Chartbeat Quarterly, our once-a-season data science magazine.

    When a television program goes to commercial break, we see a series of 30-second spots, rather than one continuous advert. That three minutes of commercial time generates more collective value to advertisers when it’s split up than if it were given to a single advertiser. So what happens if we apply the same principle to ads on the Internet?

    Our research suggests that the longer an ad is in view, the greater the likelihood that a person will recall the brand behind the advertisement. However, according to multiple studies, after a short period of time, the effect of time on brand recall is greatly diminished (Figure 1).


    This means that ads with higher active exposure time have higher value to advertisers, but only to a point. So why not exploit this fact by “refreshing” an ad after a fixed amount of time?

    Ad refreshing is not a new idea, but it is unpopular because ads refreshed traditionally—after a certain amount of wall clock time has passed—are unlikely to be seen. A series of non-viewable ads have no value to advertisers. On the other hand, if we refresh ads once they’ve been in view for a set amount of time, we can ensure that an ad was seen for a fair amount of time before changing it over to a new one and that the new ad will be viewed.

    This is an exciting idea because refreshing ads generates a large number of new viewable impressions. Traditionally, if a user is reading a page for two minutes with an ad in view, this person will only be exposed to one ad in a given position. If we refresh each ad after it’s viewed for 30 seconds, however, each single impression becomes four, generating three additional impressions, each of which is viewed. Table 1 shows the impact of different ad refresh times on viewable impressions and average exposure times across the Chartbeat network.


    From Table 1, we see that the number of viewable impressions on a typical site can be increased by as much as 93% if a 10-second ad refresh is used. This has the effect of almost doubling the inventory of viewable impressions on a site. On the other hand, we also see that this reduces the time that people spend with individual ads on average, because we are limiting the amount of time people can spend with an individual ad. This means that each refreshed impression has slightly less value to an advertiser than before. Because of this, we can probably expect that advertisers would require a discount to compensate for the loss of time.

    So, is ad refreshing worth it? Does the value of an increased inventory of viewable impression offset the loss in value to each refreshed impression? To answer this question, we will investigate the economic ramifications of ad refreshing.

    Our goal is to compare the value of the ad inventory on a typical site with and without ad refreshing.

    According to research at Yahoo, the closer an ad is to the start of a session, the more likely a user is to recall the brand represented in that ad. This means that when refreshing ads, the ads shown first have more value than the ads shown later. In fact, the researchers suggest that showing more than two ads in a single session is unlikely to be effective. Therefore, for our comparison we will only analyze single ad refreshes within an ad unit and we will make the following assumptions:

    1. Value of ad exposures to an advertiser can be quantified by recognition and recall.
    2. This value to advertisers correlates directly to revenue for the publisher.
    3. The value of first and second ad impressions are represented in Figure 2 relating exposure time to recall and recognition.


    We use these assumptions to calculate a baseline value of the ad inventory for a typical site without ad refreshing and compare this to the value of the ad inventory using different ad refresh times.

    As we can see in Table 2, ad refreshing does result in an increase in ad revenue. This means that the increase in viewable impression inventory outweighs the loss in value to refreshed impressions thanks to the diminishing returns in recall shown in Figure 2.


    Researchers agree that refreshing ads this way should increase a site’s revenue, and I think this calculation bares this out. For example, with a 10-second ad refresh the typical site gains 93% extra inventory of viewable impressions, and a 12% increase in revenue. Even with our relatively conservative calculation that only allowed for a single ad refresh, we see a healthy increase in revenue. For this reason, it seems likely that ad refreshing will be a significant source of new revenue for online publishers.