Posts Tagged ‘Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales’

Meet the New Additions to Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales

April 10th, 2014 by Alex Carusillo


We’re rolling out some big additions to Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales this week and with these new features come some new ways of thinking.

For a while now, we have been talking about Active Exposure Time (how long people spend actively reading while ads are in view) as the best way for publishers to focus on selling against what matters (you only perform well on this metric if people are actually reading your stuff) while giving their clients the greatest chance for their campaigns to succeed. But as our clients have started selling on time we’ve seen a surprising thing develop - it turned out there was more to all of this than just getting your ads seen for the longest amount of time. In reality every campaign was different and some advertisers just wanted to be sure their ads were seen while other advertisers want to get their message in front of audiences for as long as possible.

In response we’ve added a bunch of stuff to our product to let our users build different campaigns for different needs: the two biggest of which are our updated campaign report and that all new goal-based package creator.

It’s covered in more depth here but - in short - we noticed that impressions seen for 1-5 seconds are good for advertisers with simple messages while impressions from 6-10 seconds are ideal for those trying to tell a larger story or create an emotion (impressions longer than this are good too but begin to see diminishing returns.) We looked at all the sites using our product and found about half of all impressions are in that 1-5 second range while the rest are distributed through the remaining times.

New: Campaign Report

Our campaign report sees the first big change. After people sell on our metrics we wanted them to have the ability to report on them and we initially built this tool to do just that. Once the reporting tool was in the hands of our clients we heard three really common requests:

  1. Clients wanted to see our data in conjunction with their ad server data.

  2. They wanted to understand where their impressions fell in time ranges.

  3. They wanted to compare their performance against the internet.

As of today all three are in the product.

The most immediately apparent is the ad server data. We wanted to show our metrics in line with more conventional ones so we’ve created a link with Google’s DFP that allows advertisers to see how each part of their campaign performed on the metrics you probably already know (CTR, viewable impressions, etc) and compare that with our time-based measurements.

On the third screen of the report we now show a breakdown of a campaign's impressions and what time periods they fell into so our clients can better understand if a campaign received the kind of impressions that were best for it. And - of course - all of this is benchmarked against the internet so when something’s great it’s easy to prove it.

While these are the big updates to the campaign report, there’s a ton of new stuff in there - everything from geographic data to more data science insights that help tell the story of a campaign - so go ahead and check it out.

New: Target Packages

We’re pushing out more than just new ways of telling stories about campaigns. Our goal has always been to make it easier to sell quality writing and so we’ve created a new tool to help making packaging inventory easier. We call it Target Packages.

 When we first released our product the only pitches that were happening based on time were really custom campaigns and we built an interface that was perfect for exploring and meticulously developing packages.

But over time, this idea of creating campaigns based on audience time and attention has become less scary to folks and there’s been interest in a more automated process. As such we’re releasing a tool that automatically creates an optimal package based on an advertiser’s goals. Just tell us what you’re looking for (high engagement impressions in the Sports section, ads that are almost always seen in Finance, and everything in between) and we’ll do the work and put together the ads that will most efficiently hit your goals.

Target Packages So that’s what I have for you for now. We’re working on a whole lot more new stuff right now  (big updates to the campaign report coming soon) but hopefully these additions make it a lot easier for all of you to sell pixels. If you're interested in learning more about our advertising platform, feel free to get in touch.

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.

Guest Post: Vox Media, Hacking on Digital Ad Measurement with Chartbeat

September 18th, 2013 by Michael

Our guest blogger today is Michael Lovitt, VP of Engineering at Vox Media.

Last month, Vox engineers spent three days at Chartbeat’s NY office hacking on digital ad measurement. I want to share Vox’s take on the current state of online advertising and tell you how and why we’re working with Chartbeat to make things better.

The current state of online advertising

The state of digital advertising -- and brand advertising, in particular -- is suboptimal. In short, as an industry, we’re showing ads that readers don’t want to see and measuring using techniques that don’t tell us enough about whether ads are successful.

The good news, from our perspective at Vox Media, is that digital advertising has enormous room for improvement. We believe that by designing beautiful ads that delight instead of annoy, elegantly integrating these beautifully-designed ads alongside premium brands and content and for a premium audience, and employing measurement techniques that reveal a complete picture about who viewed an ad and to what degree readers engaged with and were influenced by it, that we can provide an advertising experience that does a better job of pleasing everyone involved: publishers, advertisers, and readers alike.

We’re making progress on all of the above, but solving these problems isn’t easy. It helps to have great partners.

Solving problems with Chartbeat

On measurement in particular, we were excited to work directly with Chartbeat because, like us, they’re convinced that the current state of digital ad measurement is not good enough and are actively working to make it better. Of course, Chartbeat is in the business of knowing how users engage with websites, and they’ve started to put that expertise to work tracking ads. (We had nodded our heads all the way through reading their recent blog post on the superiority of Engaged Time over impressions and clicks and awesome study showing a strong correlation between Engaged Time and brand recall.)

We’re also passionate (OK, addicted) users of Chartbeat’s products. Screenshots of important Vox milestones as visualized by Chartbeat litter our Campfire transcripts. These people do awesome work and it’s fun to hack with folks whose work you admire.

For all of these reasons, when Chartbeat invited us to attend one of their Hack Weeks, we immediately said yes.

Pre-hack planning

The Hack Week invitation was made at an opportune time, as Vox had just released an early alpha version of a new ad product metrics dashboard. The system was still in its early stages, but it was functioning in at least a basic way at every layer, and it served as a foundation for us to hack on.

We arrived at Chartbeat with a mock of a few changes to the dashboard -- we knew we wanted to start reporting, for every ad, both the Average and Total Engaged Time. As Chartbeat has shown, Engaged Time correlates well with brand recall, so being able to provide this level of insight to our advertisers and to ourselves would be one important step forward in moving beyond standard clicks and impressions

So we came with one concrete thing that we wanted to accomplish (having validated the idea with Chartbeat beforehand to make sure what we had in mind wasn’t crazy); beyond that, we were ready to play it by ear.

Hack, hack, hack

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened during our three days at Chartbeat:

Trei, Niv, Pablo, Aaron, and I arrived late Wednesday morning and kicked off with a short presentation to the Chartbeat team about Vox, and then settled into Chartbeat’s Stark Tower conference room and got to work.

We sat down with some of the Chartbeat team -- Harry, Matt, Wes, Shaun, and Alex -- and reviewed the dashboard mock. It turned out that Chartbeat’s existing ad product would be sufficient to record all the data we needed, but that a new API would need to be built to return that data back to us. Vox engineers got to work adding Chartbeat tracking to Vox ads, and Chartbeat engineers started building out the new API.

By the end of the first day, we had a Chartbeat-instrumented Vox ad running in production and a new Chartbeat API running on a laptop and returning data from Chartbeat’s production data store. From there, we could run our metrics dashboard in our dev environment and start to see real data flow in. Hurray!

On the second day, we solidified what we had built the day before. We wrote the front-end code to beautifully display metrics on the dashboard and got the Chartbeat API running on a server on the web so that we could push our metrics dashboard changes live.

Since we were making good progress on our primary goal, we also took some time to hack on Chorus, Vox’s publishing platform. We used an existing production Chartbeat API to integrate real-time Chartbeat metrics into the Chorus layout editor -- so that, for example, an editor on Polygon, when deciding what stories should be placed on the home page, can easily see the current visitor count on each currently-placed story.

The morning of the third and final day, we asked ourselves if we could get one more metric, Engaged Concurrents, integrated into the dashboard before the 1pm demo. It seemed feasible so we tried and got it done.

We showed off what we had all built to the Chartbeat team over pizza. After declaring total victory, the Vox crew said goodbye and stopped for celebratory drinks while we waited for our train back to DC.

Closing thoughts

We had a blast hacking with Chartbeat. It’s fun to make things with smart people, especially when they’re focused on the same problems as you are. Beyond ad measurement problem-solving, we enjoyed getting to know the team and talking shop: approaches to team organization, benefits and trade-offs of remote versus centralized workers, respective merits of modern JavaScript frameworks, and on and on.

Finally, we’ve been able to maintain post-hack momentum and have made great progress taking these projects to completion -- an important final step in any hackathon, and especially a cross-company hackathon like this one. Chartbeat has already released the APIs they built during our visit into production and we’re working this week at Vox to update the API client code in our metrics dashboard.

Now that we have this ad engagement data, what’s next? To start, we’ll be using this data internally to better understand how well our ads are performing -- by feeding it into our ad design process, measuring ad performance, and iterating. We’ll consider this data alongside other metrics that reveal how users are viewing and interacting with our ads. As we continue to take on the hard problem of optimally measuring digital ads, we look forward to having partners like Chartbeat at our side.

  PS- Check out Chartbeat CTO Wes Chow's guest post for the Vox Product blog.

The First Word: Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales

May 16th, 2013 by Juliana

brazil (brazilsocial) on Twitter

It's been a just over 24 hours since we introduced Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales, and we're incredibly pumped by people's reactions so far. Your tweets of support and enthusiasm have been awesome and really the reason we build this stuff in the first place – thanks a ton, Chartfans. We also want to make sure you had a chance to see what some media thought leaders have said so far, too – just so you didn't have to only hear our humble brags. We're psyched by these uber-sharp scribes covering our launch of Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales, and so in the spirit of a proud mum making scrapbooks, we've gathered some article quotes and links here. Check out what folks are saying: 
Lauren Indvik,  Chartbeat Helps Publishers Sell Time, Not Pageviews Lauren owns the media and retail space over at Mashable, covering everything from start-up news to how traditional companies are evolving with today's social web. We dig her ability to explain sometimes-confusing tech topics (like, say Chartbeat's own tech). Check out her recent breakdown of social commerce. "Today, most online display ads are sold by the number of impressions or by click-throughs, metrics that favor sites that generate lots of pageviews, perhaps through short articles, sensationalized headlines or slideshows. What those metrics don't favor is long or engaging journalism — that is, truly interesting content that people spend a lot of time with."
Josh Sternberg, Chartbeat's Bid to Measure 'Engagement' Josh frequently and fabulously discusses the intersection of publishers, brands, and content. Never shy to share the right story, Josh continues to be an industry go-to for how we'll solve the monetizable content issue. He recently wrote a piece on Hearst and Google Glass. "Publishers are caught in an unsustainable pageview arms race. This leads to bad behavior all around. But the problem is, publishers losing at this, even if by choice, are still held to the pageview metrics. This is meant as a way to allow those losing at the pageview game to use a different sort of data."
Pando Daily
Erin GriffithChartbeat crosses the Chinese wall with ad sales tools, focusing on quality over clicks As Pando's New York start-up guru, Erin knows what's up. She's a true journalist in the New York tech news scene with a knack for cutting through the BS and spotting, breaking, and spreading the next big stories. Peep her article on evolving dynamics in marketing and e-commerce. "Once someone has clicked on a link, the monetizable act is complete, regardless of if that person engages with the content. That encourages low quality link-baity content and slideshows. Chartbeat captures information about what happens between the clicks; now it’s selling that info to ad sales teams, who can presumably charge more for delivering a more engaged audience."
Jeff Jarvis, Selling ads by time, not space Professor, journalist, and industry voice of reason, Jeff Jarvis remains a go-to source for journalism and online media's most-pressing issues. He gracefully an thoughtfully navigates a range of topics from ethics in journalism to the implications of major publishers' technophobia. See his uber-relevant piece on misinformation in the news. "That’s because people quickly scroll past those banners and all the big hair on the top of the page — logos, promos, and all that — to get to the substance of an article, where they spend time. So inventory that was undervalued becomes more valuable." Hope you'll check out some of the coverage (a huge thank you to Lauren, Josh, Erin and Jeff), and feel free to tweet your thoughts @Chartbeat - we're on the look out for the good, the bad, and the ugly. And any questions or requests to check it out further can be sent to our Product Outreach gang.

Introducing Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales

May 15th, 2013 by Alex Carusillo

Through our Chartbeat Publishing product, we’ve spent the last three years getting to know the ins and outs of the editorial teams inside major media sites and building things to help them make their best stuff even better. That’s always been our dream and we’re going to keep at it.

But over the past six months we’ve been busy building our first tool for the other side of the publishing house. One that will help sites earn more because of the quality of their content.

So we’re incredibly excited (and more than a little exhausted) to introduce Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales, our new product that allows sites to sell the thing advertisers asked for in the first place - their audience’s attention.

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The origins

Before really getting to what any of that means, however, I’m going to bury the lede a whole bunch. Because to understand why this will help you, you first really need to know why we built it...which starts way further back than six months ago.

It really starts with the whole point of journalism: to get the best information possible to the right people. Writers have adapted our approach over time – from in-depth investigation to short form breaking news – but the goal has always been the same: to inform the people and influence the discussion. But writers have never really known if their readers engaged with the things they created. They couldn’t have; it was just too hard to track.

We all thought the internet was going to fix this. And a whole bunch of doors opened when everything went online. Notably, for the first time ever we were able to understand who was actually clicking on the pages where the stuff we created lived. The audience was no longer the people who picked up the phones during market surveys or the number of addresses the paper got delivered to each morning; it was the people who were actually there on the page doing something.

For a while, that was all pretty great. Page views and clicks gave us an understanding that was totally new and a huge step up from the data around the physical world.

But the inevitable happened: we began to make what we measured -- and we optimized the internet for these measurable things.

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Capturing attention, not clicks

Success was no longer writing stories that made a difference culturally or otherwise, it was making sure that whoever got to your webpage clicked a bunch of links so the page view counter went up. And that was crazy. That’s what gave us slideshows and pop-ups and roadblocks and auto-playing videos and all the other things that make the internet frustrating.

That was never what journalism was supposed to be about.

I think everyone’s always hated that. We at Chartbeat certainly did. And because of that, our products have always been about understanding the user’s experience. We wanted people to write really good stuff and we wanted to create the ways for them to understand the audience liked it. That's why we created Engaged Time. We wanted to give people who actually created things a number that actually measured the attention their content captured, not the number of people who happened to open their page.


Making the understanding easier was the motivation behind everything we’ve built here. And it worked. Right now, people all around the internet - from your favorite blog on stereo equipment to 80% of the top media sites in the US - are using Engaged Time to understand and improve the quality of what they're creating.

Making not-awesome things more awesome

So editorial teams are making decisions around Engaged Time, but traditional metrics made it really hard for advertisers to understand the quality of content and very very few of them paid to be around it.

Old metrics like impressions created this idea that people don't read stuff on the internet. But we’ve proven it’s not that they don’t read stuff, it’s that the time people spend reading is hard to measure. That’s why even the best publishers out there can’t sell what makes them special - the quality of their work (which in turn drives a highly-engaged audience).

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Grab anyone writing on the internet and you'll hear the same problems: they can't sell ads lower on page, no one wants their "boring" sections, and click-through rates are terrible.

Talk to the advertisers and you'll hear about the same: they only understand a percentage of their audience, click-throughs don't tell the whole story, and their data doesn't match their goals.

Talk to us, the people reading this stuff? Well, I think everyone would agree the internet is just a generally frustrating place when it's built around every brand in the world chasing a click-through rate.

So, here’s where Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales comes in.

We’re here to help salespeople at publishers big and small sell something new and something they actually control: their audience's attention and the quality of their content.

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You've already got good stuff – we're just here to help

Advertisers come to you because your content matters and your audience is great. They want to create a relationship with your audience but only understand simple things like the number of people who click on their banners. Our new product tells you how much time your audience is spending actually reading stuff on the page while ads are in view. It’s a chance to quantify something new – and something super desirable – the active attention of the people they want to speak to.

But explaining that can be hard so we go a step further and we don’t just help you find the best spots on your site - we build the sales collateral for you to give to advertisers about why they want to work with you.

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Right now our goal is pretty simple: we want to make it easier for publishers to tell stories around why their site and their engaged audience is special. We want to go back to the things we used to know, to move the discussion away from “does .08% of your audience click on ads or does .09%?” to “does your work keep people interested?”

Yeah, it’s just the first step. We’re not saying this will solve every single problem instantly. But, based on the few dozen alpha testers’ reactions, it’s certainly getting us there. And based on your use of it, we’ll learn a lot more.

Everybody wins – editors, advertisers, and readers, too

We built this product to help solve the problem for everyone: people who create really awesome stuff can get paid for it because it's good, not because a fraction of a fraction of the people who come to their page click on an ad; brands advertisers get the thing that they've been looking for - a chance to be in front of the best audience for the longest period of time; readers aren’t pushed through some terrible, road-blocking experience, but are actually encouraged and rewarded for consuming the content they want to consume.

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We’d love to show it to you and your sales teams in action -- and you brands out there who are advertising with publishers, we’d love to get your take as well. So shoot us an email, and tell us what you think. Get the details on Chartbeat Publishing for Ad Sales here.

PS- We'll be talking about this more on Tuesday evening during our NYC Internet Week event with Disqus, Beyond the Click: Getting to Actual Engagement – come join the fun.