Archive for the ‘News & Press’ Category

Does Native Ad Content Work?

April 1st, 2014 by Kyle

As Advertising Week Europe gets into full swing in London, native advertising is undoubtedly the talk of the town. Our own UK representative, Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile, couldn't make it across the pond to attend, but he did sit down yesterday with the Media Briefing to talk about the question on everyone's minds: Does this newfangled native advertising content work?

For some advertisers, he says, yes. But Tony adds in the sit-down interview: "Right now, though, we're in a situation where the vast majority of what we're seeing is underperforming in terms of what an advertiser's actual goals are. If you're wanting to get your content in front of an audience, a specific audience, and have them engage with that content in the way they would engage with normal content, then a lot of native advertising is missing the mark."

And that's backed up by the data, too, as outlined in Tony's recent article in Time:

On a typical article two-thirds of people exhibit more than 15 seconds of engagement, on native ad content that plummets to around one-third. You see the same story when looking at page-scrolling behavior. On the native ad content we analyzed, only 24% of visitors scrolled down the page at all, compared with 71% for normal content. If they do stick around and scroll down the page, fewer than one-third of those people will read beyond the first one-third of the article.

Here's a two-minute clip from the interview:

You can check out the full video interview at www.themediabriefing.com.

How Long Are Viewable Impressions Actually Seen?

March 23rd, 2014 by Alex Carusillo

On Friday, Digiday wrote a piece examining some assumptions that are all too often made about the way people read on the internet. It covered a bunch of our favorite stuff including that the conventionally “good” advertising spots aren’t necessarily in the places people read. In addition, Lucia introduced something we’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the duration of an impression.

Over the past year, the industry has finally rallied around a viewability metric. As a result we’ve seen a lot of premium publishers do great work to make their ads more viewable and - in turn - pull way ahead of their lower quality competitors. Naturally now, more and more ads are becoming viewable across the internet. Which begs a new question we hear almost daily from publishers: how do I prove that my inventory is actually better than the alternative?

Everyone is looking to sell based on reader attention, but I’ve yet to meet someone who thinks that the viewable impression actually helps them do that -- particularly when it comes to premium sites.

So we’ve been working with publishers, helping them take the next step: understanding how long people are actively focused on content while an ad is on the screen.

There’s a lot of research out there that says the more time people spend with an ad, the more likely that ad is to succeed, but this research rarely looks at how long real ads on the internet perform.

We decided to find out.

We took a look across a select group of publishers to find out how long ads are seen when they’re seen.  

Turns out, half of all viewable ads are seen for 1-5 seconds while the other half are, obviously, seen for longer than that. The natural reaction is to look at each number of seconds and sort of consider them “engagement points” and just assume that a higher number means better ads, but it’s actually not that black and white.

Research has shown over and over that at about ten seconds of exposure diminishing returns start to set in and each additional second is worth less in terms of recall than the previous ones; that doesn’t mean, however, that every ad should seek to be seen for ten seconds. It means that different ads are right for different goals.

If an advertiser is trying to get their name out there as efficiently as possible in a pure awareness play, they likely want to be buying a spot where shorter impression duration occurs. Whereas if an advertiser is trying to get a specific message out there or telling a more complex story than just their logo appearing in an ad, they should look for one in the 6-15 second range.

This, of course, leaves a big chunk of impressions that are longer than that ideal engagement time and don’t really help advertisers any more than 15 seconds ones. We’re working with a handful of people to see what kind of creative things they can do to solve that, getting the most of their inventory and giving their audience fresh content that benefits everyone involved -- the publisher’s business, the brand’s goals, the reader’s interest.

The point is, not every viewable impression is equal but that doesn’t mean that the shorter ones are categorically worse. It means that we should think about the goals of a campaign and which impressions are the right way to achieve these goals.

The Financial Times Talks Ads, Viewability, and Chartbeat with ClickZ

March 13th, 2014 by Juliana

Curious to know what one of the boldest minds in online advertising is thinking about these days? Check out what Jon Slade, Commercial Director for Global Digital Advertising and Insight for the Financial Times, shares in a recent piece by ClickZ, "The Financial Times’ Perspective on Ad Viewability."

In this pithy piece, Slade talks about industry concerns surrounding viewability as it embarks on its path to standardization and the “critical issue” of accurately measuring impressions. We were excited to get a shout-out from Slade, who mentioned the work Chartbeat and the Financial Times have been doing together regarding the application of audience attention metrics to new and premium types of display advertising formats. Slade states:
“In addition to optimizing our site to ensure maximum viewability for our clients, we’re also working with Chartbeat to measure not just whether an ad is seen or not, but for how long. We believe that the amount of time the target audience is exposed to the advertiser’s message has a direct effect on its impact. We can tell our clients how long each impression has been viewed, and the total duration of exposure across the campaign.

In essence, there’s no reason why publishers’ can’t start to trade ‘exposed time’ as a currency, not just impressions. This is a metric that we feel is closer to the actual outcome an advertiser is seeking – impressions themselves are just a convenient mechanism to trade.”

We don’t think we could have said it any better ourselves. In response to this piece, Chartbeat ads product guy Alex Carusillo notes, “Viewability is really important and should happen no matter what. But we think what comes next is the most exciting part. When you look at Active Exposure Time, that black box of viewability opens up and you can see the difference between good and bad impressions. We're lucky to be partnering with Jon and the FT to turn audience attention into something publishers can build businesses on.”

Check out this visualization below to get a sense of how Chartbeat metrics can measure impression quality:

Fake iceberg copy

Do you have questions about this stuff? Or maybe something to say? Let us know in the comments below.

4 Myths About the Web, by CEO Tony Haile

March 10th, 2014 by Kyle

Writing for Time.com yesterday, our fearless leader Tony Haile thoroughly debunked four myths about the Web. It turns out, clicking on an article isn't the same thing as actually reading it, there's no relationship between social sharing and engagement, native advertising has an attention deficit disorder, and conventional wisdom about ad placement is totally upside down. We're outlining a few key highlights here, but we'd strongly encourage you to check out the full article—it's a humdinger. (You will read the whole thing, won't you?)

#1: For starters, he says, we're mistakenly conflating clicking with reading: "For 20 years, publishers have been chasing pageviews, the metric that counts the number of times people load a web page. The more pageviews a site gets, the more people are reading, the more successful the site. Or so we thought." As many of us know by now, someone clicking on a provocative headline doesn't always translate into engagement—and, in fact, that's the case more often than not. So, it's crtical to ask, "What are my visitors doing after they click?"

myth-1

#2: Addressing another piece of conjecture, Tony challenges the assumption that social sharing and engagement have a directly proportional relationship. That is, "the more content is liked or shared, the more engaging it must be, the more willing people are to devote their attention to it." But, the data says it just ain't true: "We looked at 10,000 socially shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content."

myth-2

#3: While publishers and advertisers are giddy to saddle up and explore the new great frontier of native advertising, many are already on rocky footing: "Brands are paying for—and publishers are driving traffic to—content that does not capture the attention of its visitors or achieve the goals of its creators." But we shouldn't just give up on native advertising altogether. Native advertising that engages an audience and holds their attention can be influential, but "driving traffic to content that no one is reading is a waste of time and money."

http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/

#4: A successful ad needs two things: great creative and great placement. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom has led many to pay top dollar for the parts of the page that capture the least attention, not the most: "66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold. That leaderboard at the top of the page? People scroll right past that and spend their time where the content not the cruft is. Yet most agency media planners will still demand that their ads run in the places where people aren’t and will ignore the places where they are."

myth-4

So, to the days of the click, we say sayonara. Now let's usher in the age of attention.

blog-post-cta

CEO Tony Haile Named to Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000

January 29th, 2014 by Juliana

 

Tony Haile Chartbeat

Today Fast Company announced the Most Creative People in Business 1000 – with Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile included in the ranks. The MCP 1000 is described as "an influential, diverse group of modern Renaissance men and women across the economy and around the globe. This is more than just a list: It is a rising community, an explosion of creative inspiration, the spur for so much breaking news across the quickly changing industries that Fast Company covers."

Renaissance man, indeed. That baby-faced chap you know and love truly spends all day every day #disrupting and #innovating, fighting the good fight. Tony's passion for building tools and solutions that equip publishers with business models to keep them around and thriving for decades to come is simply unmatched. Helping an entire industry change the way it does business through effective, sustainable metrics that measure the right goals isn't something that happens overnight. Thankfully, years of polar exploring, circumnavigating the globe in a sailboat, and working with fifty Chartteam misfits every day forces one to be creative and resilient.

We couldn't be prouder (or less surprised).

Check out Tony's Fast Company piece on being the leader of Chartbeat or follow him on Twitter to get that British charm delivered to you in real time.

Tony Haile