The publisher, which operates a hybrid subscription and ad-funded business model, is offering marketers globally the ability to buy readers’ attention in-app and online, on a cost-per-hour (CPH) basis. The move follows the Financial Times’ adoption of time-based selling in early 2015.
“Viewability doesn’t provide attention. It is a proxy for quality. The next step in the evolution of media buying is trading attention,” Ashwin Sridhar, global head of digital products revenue at The Economist, told Digiday.
The publisher’s “attention buy” model will see it charge advertisers only for display ad impressions — it doesn’t yet extend to video, but that will come later — that generate over five seconds of “active” view time. Scrolling up and down a page, typing on a keyboard or using the mouse will all count as active reader behaviors. It will work with analytics partners Chartbeat and Moat Analytics to make it happen.
“Anything below five seconds we don’t class as meaningful attention,” added Sridhar. The ad must also meet the IAB’s standards for display ads, so half the ad must be deemed in-view.
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