Narrowing ‘time spent’ as an online ad metric

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video2_small.jpgADOTAS — It’s a metric that some, especially those in social media and online video, keep pushing as more relevant for advertisers: time spent.

The results from a recent Lotame study showed the effects of exposure to a campaign on a person’s intent to view an entertainment offering. The study revealed a “bell curve” in the correlation of intent to view and time spent viewing ads for the offering. This effect was noted on a per-ad and per-campaign basis, indicating that advertising to any person increases the likelihood that he or she intends to watch – but only to a point – after which likelihood actually decreases.

The study, conducted on live digital campaigns for a variety of entertainment offerings from December 2008 to March 2009, showed that a measurable increase in a person’s intent to view begins at 17 seconds over the course of a campaign, peaks at 76 seconds and significantly degrades after 225 seconds. For any single ad, impact is felt after 2.4 seconds, reaches its peak at 40 seconds and degrades after 113 seconds.

According to Scott Hoffman, CMO of Lotame, by focusing budgets on bringing a well targeted audience into the ‘sweet spot’ of exposure, entertainment-industry advertisers can measurably improve their return, freeing up budget to reach more people or realize savings.

In the study, ads were considered “viewed” when at least half of the ad was viewable and the browser was in active use. Exposure was measured by Lotame’s Time Spent technology, which allows advertisers to design campaigns around time-based metrics. “Intent to view” was determined by individual surveys conducted by Lotame partner Vizu. Vizu’s Ad CatalystSM was designed to increase brand marketers’ confidence in online advertising.

Lotame counts the time that a user actually spends viewing an ad without counting time when the ad is obscured, minimized or scrolled out of view. By accurately monitoring and combining the time each user spends with the ad in plain sight, Lotame can measure the actual impact on the desired audience.

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