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Industry Related News - Time-Based Programmatic Solves Advertising Attention Deficit Disorder

October 29, 2014

Time-based metrics are getting everyone’s attention at the moment because buying proxies of time are much better than buying clicks. Brands are fighting for a slice of a consumer’s life, and time is the best measurement to understand if advertisers’ efforts are successful. Time-based measurement is simply the duration a user spends with digital content. TV has been sold for years based on this model with 30-second spots, but the biggest concern is that the viewer is not paying attention when the ad is playing. Digital, on the other hand, is measured much more easily. With attention-based measurement, programmatic has the potential to guarantee that the consumer actually sees what the advertiser pays for. Moving marketers away from click-throughs and impressions to time-spent metrics is a movement in the right direction.

Many believe the catalyst will be the combination of attention metrics and programmatic. This seems to work even if pricing goes up somewhat for brands. Many technology companies, agencies, and publishers are not waiting for the change, moving away from the simple metric of “viewablity” and onto the time-spent metric. Brand advertisers’ desire for video drove the first important step to monitoring how long users watch a video after pushing play. The layer of confirmation on top of ad viewability is a welcome change for programmatic brand advertising, which is desperate for single brand performance measure.

The Proof is in the Pudding (Time)

A recent study by Millward Brown showed that there is a 4X lift in brand recall and purchase intent when time and viewability both increase. The disconnect between what brand marketers want to achieve and what they actually measure is beginning to change. This is due to an understanding of attention as a proxy for brand awareness rather than the old method of page views and uniques.

Customer and reader surveys from both Google and BuzzFeed saw a triple digit rise in brand lift and purchase intent with increases in attention and time spent. increasing. Many CPG brands are using these new measurements as they purchase the majority of their media through programmatic.

Publishers on Board

Nearly 80% of publishers want to sell ads based on time spent, according to Digital Content Next’s new report. With help from technology companies, premium publishers are simply measuring the time the audience spends engaged with content while the ads are in view. Expectations are that Conde Nast, The New York Times, ESPN, and many others are planning to use the time-spent metric and bring it from an inside measure to its programmatic offerings.

Brands, Agencies and Programmatic Platforms Adopt

Despite skepticism, the majority of brands, agencies, and platforms have adopted the attention and time-based measurement technology from many vendor partners like comScore, Nielson, Adobe Omniture, and Moat. Video companies, receptive to this change, are now moving all media to programmatic brand advertising buying via attention metrics.

While time-based is not perfect, it is much better than clicks, page views, and uniques. Time in the attention-consuming economy is a perfect fit for premium programmatic, and solves advertising ADD!

The original article can be found at