Metrics 101: Lifetime Exposure

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

    More in