Most of these are using time-spent on page as proof that they are offering interesting content. The type of content that should indeed merit a higher CPM.
The advertisers who are also expressing interest are doing so because they realize that the current standard for an impression, 50% of the ad visible for 1 second, is truly a bogus thing to be paying for. And, when they hear that viewability alone brings a 104% increase in brand lift, and that ad recall increases by 79% when said ad is seen for more than five seconds, you can see why their interest in time-based metrics could well be piqued.
For publishers, measuring the amount of time people spend on a page where an ad is viewable allows them to charge more for the ad. This will then allow them to pay for and create better content to offer consumers.
In other words, it’s a win-win. Which makes time-based metrics a somewhat inevitable evolution for the media eco-system.
I would also argue that these same time-based metrics will soon be creating havoc among the creative eco-system.
The video format is significantly more receptive to time-based metrics than today’s display format. Yes, a viewer might be on a publisher’s page where the display ad is featured. And while the intent of the viewer can somewhat be measured through eye-movement devices, it is much easier to measure the intent of the viewer on video content.
All they need to do is press “play.”
Now the time-based metrics become even more important. The longer a viewer is involved in a commercial, the greater the opportunity to persuade that viewer.
(I have yet to find an advertiser who disagrees with this logic.)
If the viewer is only involved in the commercial for ten seconds out of thirty, who’s accountable for this? The publisher? Or, the agency that created the commercial?
Pressing play, physically allowing a viewer to initiate the interaction with the creative, removes the publisher from any responsibility for time-spent with that piece of creative.
Once play is pressed, the responsibility for time-spent falls on the creative itself.
The creative agency becomes responsible and time-spent offers advertisers the opportunity to hold that creative agency accountable.
Which is why from here on out, it’s going to get really interesting.
Because smart advertisers will soon start holding their agencies financially accountable for creating time-spent in their commercials.
The more time advertisers get viewers to spend with their brand, the more money the agency will make.
View-duration compensation will become a way to hold agencies accountable for creative.
Ten seconds viewed out of a possible thirty, will be less financially rewarding for the agency then thirty seconds viewed out of thirty.
Right now, agencies get paid the same whether 100% of the commercial is viewed or only 10% of the commercial is viewed.
Time-spent metrics change that.
Which means in the future, failure will no longer be lucrative.
And that future is closer than many agencies would like.