Time-in-View: Boosting Programmatic Revenue

Updated on: April 1, 2024
Explore time-in-view's role in ad viewability, its benefits for publishers, and practical tips to optimize ad performance and increase revenue.

As a publisher, maximizing revenue and commanding premium prices for ad impressions is essential to your success. The solution lies in a groundbreaking metric known as Time-in-View. In this post, we’ll examine the significance of this metric in programmatic advertising and share tips on harnessing its power effectively.

The advertising industry has long been searching for improved viewability metrics, as the current ones don’t fully account for the time an ad is viewed. It emerges as the metric rapidly gaining popularity and reshaping the viewability landscape.

Join us as we address the limitations of conventional evaluation processes, understand the importance of time in viewability, and learn how viewability metrics can help publishers like you elevate your strategy. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to implement Time-in-View and enhance your ad performance. Let’s get started!

What Is Time-in-View?

In the bustling media marketplace, attention is the currency. Publishers trade their audience’s attention for advertisers’ marketing budgets, while advertisers use ads to promote their products and drive sales. As a publisher with highly effective ads, you can demand premium prices (higher CPM) for your valuable ad inventory.

To unlock higher CPMs, you need a way to measure ad effectiveness. Enter Time-in-View, a metric that explores the relationship between viewability, user attention, and the ad’s on-screen duration. By understanding and leveraging viewability metrics, you can optimize your ad strategy, elevate your publishing success, and pave the way for greater achievements.

Limitations of Current Viewability Metrics

Traditional viewability measurement practices have been debated among publishers and advertisers for quite some time. One of the main limitations of the current viewability measurements is the narrow definition of a viewable impression.

According to the Media Rating Council (MRC), a display ad is considered viewable when 50% of the creative is in the user’s viewport for at least 1 second. 

While this has led to a global viewability rate of 71.5% for desktop display ads in the first half of 2022, many ad buyers argue that such a short duration is insufficient for an ad to capture a user’s attention effectively.

This narrow focus on viewability doesn’t account for factors such as user engagement, ad recall, or actual conversions, which are essential to assess the true impact of an ad campaign.

Furthermore, the MRC’s standards do not adequately address the growing importance of video ads, which have seen increasing completion rates and play a crucial role in driving user engagement.

In the context of video advertising, the completion rate denotes the percentage of video ads that viewers watch from start to finish. 

The Media Rating Council’s Standards and Their Impact on Publishers

The MRC’s viewability standards have faced criticism for not providing a comprehensive evaluation of ad effectiveness, which is crucial for publishers to demonstrate their ad inventory’s value. 

The Integral Ad Science (IAS) Media Quality Report points out that targeting 100% viewability may not be the publishers’ best measure of success. When viewability goals exceed 70%, there’s a significant 41% decrease in reach, suggesting that a more balanced approach to viewability could be more advantageous for publishers.

By focusing on innovative attention metrics, publishers can better align their ad campaigns with user attention, engagement, and monetization, addressing the limitations and concerns associated with the MRC’s standards.

Embracing Contextual Targeting and Innovative Metrics

As the advertising landscape evolves, there is a need for more sophisticated metrics that address the shortcomings of traditional viewability measurement practices. 

The shift towards contextual targeting, which relies on displaying ads based on a website’s content rather than intrusive tracking methods, represents a promising approach to reaching audiences effectively while respecting their privacy.

By adopting more comprehensive and innovative methods, publishers can better align their ad campaigns with user attention, engagement, and monetization.

Time-in-View: A New Dimension of Ad Viewability

Time-in-View is a metric that adds depth to the traditional viewability measurements by considering the amount of time a user actually saw an ad. 

Instead of simply checking whether an ad was viewed, as per MRC standards, Time-in-View considers the duration the ad was visible in the user’s viewport. 

This provides a more comprehensive understanding of user attention and engagement with the ads, offering valuable insights for advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns.

Real-life Examples of Publishers Successfully Leveraging Viewability Metrics

The Telegraph’s Triumph

One notable example of a publisher effectively utilizing Time-in-View is The Telegraph. Amid the coronavirus crisis, when many brands reduced their ad spend, and publishers faced challenges in retaining clients, The Telegraph managed to win new ones. The publisher achieved this by employing Time-in-View and other attention metrics for campaign measurement.

By correlating these attention metrics with brand upliftment metrics, such as awareness, consideration, and action, the publisher could understand how to deliver guaranteed performance by improving attention metrics.

As a result, the average campaign price increased by 24% YoY, highlighting the potential of viewability metrics in enhancing ad campaign effectiveness.

Demands from Major Brands

In the past, major brands like IBM, HP, and Nestle have also demanded for better viewability measurements. 

In an email to publishers, IBM stated,

 “We have been clear over the years that our goal was to enhance [the MRC’s] definition over time and that we would be tracking and optimizing against greater pixels in view and time spent.”

These real-life examples illustrate the value of this metric for publishers to optimize their ad campaigns, command premium prices, and maximize revenue. 

Advantages of Viewability-Based Metrics for Publishers

Closing Better Direct Deals

Time-in-View can be a game-changer for publishers when it comes to closing direct deals with advertisers. 

By focusing on this metric, publishers demonstrate their commitment to delivering high-quality ad placements that capture user attention for longer. This can make their ad inventory more appealing to advertisers, leading to more lucrative direct deals.

Improving Viewability and Increasing CPMs

By prioritizing Time-in-View, publishers are already thinking beyond the 1-second threshold set by the MRC for viewability. 

As a result, focusing on this metric can improve overall viewability rates. Higher viewability, in turn, makes the ad inventory more valuable to advertisers, leading to increased CPMs and greater revenue for publishers.

Trading Attention, Not Just Impressions

Viewability metrics shift the focus from merely counting ad impressions to measuring users’ attention to ads.

By trading attention instead of impressions, publishers can showcase their ad inventory’s true value and attract advertisers interested in meaningful user engagement rather than just high impression numbers.

Enhancing Ad Recall and User Engagement

Ads with longer viewable duration tend to have a better ad recall rate as users spend more time engaging with the content. This can lead to higher click-through rates, conversions, and overall user engagement with the ads on the publisher’s site.

By optimizing for the metric, publishers can provide more effective ad placements for advertisers and create a better user experience for their audience.

Implementing Time-in-View: Strategies for Publishers

Using the Right Ad Products

  • One example of an intelligent ad product is Active Exposure Time (AXT), which goes beyond the traditional viewability metrics and focuses on active views.
  • AXT refreshes an ad only after a 25-second active view. But what’s an active view? Active view records the time when an active user has an ad in view.
  • Even if an ad is in the viewport, but there’s no mouse activity, then that duration will not be considered as an active view.

Partnering with SSPs Offering Time-in-View Solutions

  • Some SSPs, like Teads, work with publishers and advertisers, offering media selling and buying based on custom viewability targeting.
  • By partnering with these SSPs, advertisers can buy your inventory when the required viewable duration is met, increasing your inventory’s value.

Collaborating with Measurement Service Providers

  • Providers like IAS and BrandMetrics offer solutions and tools to calculate various viewability metrics.
  • By using these tools, you can provide your clients with in-depth reporting that enables them to run highly effective campaigns on your website. This will attract more ad buyers and ultimately lead to increased revenue.

Best Practices for Optimizing Viewbalility Metrics 

Focus on Ad Placements That Encourage Longer View Times

  • Choose ad placements that are naturally more visible and engaging, such as within content, in sidebars, or at the top of the page.
  • Avoid placements where users are likely to scroll past quickly or become frustrated with the ad’s presence, such as pop-ups or intrusive overlays.

Design Engaging Ad Creatives to Capture User Attention

  • Use captivating visuals, clear messaging, and strong calls to action to keep users interested in the ad.
  • Experiment with different ad formats, such as rich media, video, or interactive ads, to find the most effective approach for your target audience.
  • Regularly update ad creatives to maintain freshness and prevent ad fatigue.

Monitor and Analyze Time-in-View Metrics to Optimize Ad Performance

The Future of Viewability Metrics

  • Advertisers and publishers increasingly recognize the importance of attention-based metrics, leading to industry standards and practices shifting.
  • Brands demand more transparency and detailed reporting, pushing publishers to adopt advanced viewability metrics and optimize their ad inventory for better user engagement.
  • As the digital advertising landscape becomes more competitive, the focus on quality and performance will continue to grow, making Time-in-View an essential component of successful ad campaigns.

The Potential Impact of New Technologies and Measurement Standards

  • Emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 5G connectivity may reshape how ads are displayed and consumed, offering new opportunities for Time-in-View optimization.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning advancements could enable more sophisticated ad targeting and personalization, potentially increasing viewable time and overall ad effectiveness.
  • Developing and adopting new measurement standards, potentially surpassing the current MRC guidelines, will further emphasize the importance of attention-based metrics in the digital advertising industry.

Wrapping Up: Adopting Viewability Metrics for Achieving Success

In conclusion, Time-in-View is a crucial metric for publishers looking to optimize ad viewability and boost revenue. By integrating this metric, publishers can enhance their ad strategies, ensuring meaningful engagement with users and higher CPMs.

Staying ahead of the digital advertising landscape requires embracing innovative viewability metrics, allowing publishers to offer comprehensive ad performance insights to advertisers. This approach fosters stronger relationships, positioning publishers as preferred partners in the media marketplace.

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