We’ve observed online publishers struggling this year. Many of increased their content output, expanded their topic coverage, purchased audience to increase their viewing statistics, and opened their sites to any or all advertising. Personally, I believe that’s a mistake. We’ve avoided buying audience, kept our topics tight, and we have turned down advertising repeatedly from off-topic advertising.
Thankfully, advertising networks are responding. An estimated $160 billion will be spent globally on digital advertising this year, according to Juniper Research. Platforms like 33Across are hoping to align how consumers interact with online advertising for greater engagement rather than just focusing on viewability metrics. Advertisers and CMOs always need to justify the ROI from their online ad spend. Industry standards like the Media Ratings Council (MRC), have set the bar too low when it comes to determining whether an ad is deemed viewable.
Mobile and Desktop ad views require at least 50% of pixels in view for at least one second for display ads, two seconds for video ads. MRC
On the reverse side, publishers are struggling with how to monetize their sites. Consumers are getting discouraged, bombarded with irrelevant messages or disruptions when they’re consuming content. It’s these issues and a deep analysis of consumer engagement with online ads that shaped the design and development of two new products from 33Across.
New Video and Display Ad Units Offer Industry’s Highest Viewability
33Across expanded its programmatic platform with the launch of Desktop In-Feed Video and Desktop In-Feed Impact. Designed to help publishers drive incremental revenue, these new products are non-intrusive, high impact ad units that appear within the content of a website or a product feed. The ad units respond to a user’s scroll actions and remain visible as long as the creative is at least 50 percent in view.
As video continues to grow in popularity, 33Across’ Desktop In-Feed Video ad units automatically play 15- and 30-second spots that adjust for mobile and desktop viewing, appearing in content streams when the creative is at least 50 percent in view. Once out of the user’s view, the video pauses and resumes play once it’s in view. The new products are designed for unobtrusive user experiences, giving consumers complete control over the experience, with the option to manage volume or close the ad.
To fully monetize our site, we need to respond to the interests of users requiring a non-intrusive experience on desktop and mobile as well as the demands of buyers for mobile first, in-feed products that deliver high viewability. Peter Cunha, Investing Channel
Analysis of Online Ads Reveals Peak User Engagement Times
The new products reflect 33Across’ recent analysis, measuring how viewability of online ads and the length of time an ad is in view to gauge how those two facts impact user engagement. After analyzing 160 million online ads across 738 publisher sites for one week, 33Across found that on average, most consumers click ads at the 15-second mark and engagement steadily increased over time. Broken down by device:
- 50% of user engagement occurred on a desktop after 15 seconds
- On mobile and tablets, 50% of user engagement occurred after seven seconds
- By the 30-second mark, 68% of all engagement occurred on a desktop, 74% occurred on mobile, and 78% occurred on a tablet
The analysis proves that for online advertising to be effective, ads need to be both highly viewable and in view beyond the current minimum requirements.
If a marketer’s main metric is viewability based on the MRC guideline and our analysis proves that 98 percent of engagement happens after one second. It’s clear that there’s a small chance users will see that ad, much less engage with it. For CMOs to have any meaningful return on their investments, they need to raise the bar on both ad viewability and time-in-view. Eric Wheeler, CEO, 33Across.
Industry standards aside, publishers and advertisers should take a hard look at an ad’s average time-in-view and determine if the ad units truly are in view long enough to elicit a response or make a meaningful impact. To further shore up their investments in digital advertising, increase engagement, and avoid blind spots, they should also add in-feed mobile and display units into the marketing mix.
The toughest crossword puzzles can be solved if you decipher a large horizontal word in the middle of the puzzle. In many difficult puzzles these are often around 32 or 33 across. 33Across unlocks the puzzle of quality online advertising.