Digital publishers are at a crossroads.
Competition for readers’ attention is increasing, advertisers are refusing to pay for impressions that don’t meet ever more advanced metrics. The market remains dominated by two major players that act as arch frenemies to the publishing world.
All the while, the sole source of income for most publishers, ad technology, often hurts as much as it is helps. As a result, content publishers find themselves in the toughest position they’ve faced in years.
However, due to a new wave of technological advancements, help is on the way.
Better ad experiences for users
Programmatic buying and selling, audience segmentation and interactive ads have all helped drive the industry to new heights over the past few years. These advancements were mainly designed with advertisers’ interests in mind and together, they have led to greater ROI from digital spend for advertisers.
While publishers have benefited from the ability to easily sell through new channels and finely target their audiences, they have also borne the brunt of user frustration as a result of ad technology that ruins the on-site experience.
In a recent Teads study, 66% of users cited the negative impact of ads on page performance as the reason they installed ad blockers, and for good reason. Often, a single impression is passed between 10+ media buying or serving platforms before the creative even starts to load, frequently hanging the page.
Pagefair found that 50% of users installed ad blockers because they felt their personal data was being misused, and the IAB performed a survey which found that the leading cause of ad blocker installation was a fear of malvertising.
Few users install ad blockers because they simply hate ads. They simply hate that most digital ads are delivered with no quality controls in place, allowing ads that are slow, collect data opaquely, and enable malware to make its way onto their computers.
Even users who don’t install ad blockers end up generating less revenue for publishers when ads hurt their experience on the site. On average, users who were exposed to a single ad that took longer than 6 seconds to load generate 1.5 less pageviews per session.
New technology is becoming available that filters out any data packets that don’t benefit the advertiser or the publisher and are attempting to be delivered through the publisher’s ad tags.
Malvertising, slow loading ads, and extemporaneous data collection can all be prevented, giving users the ad experience they’ve asked for without caving to the use of ad blockers. The result is users that stay on the site longer, return more frequently, and are receptive to white-listing the domains of publishers that deliver quality, unobtrusive ad experiences.
Low quality supply is being eliminated
Fraud and other forms of general and sophisticated invalid traffic are only a problem because they get monetized. When advertisers recognize and avoid invalid traffic, they end up redirecting their budgets to legitimate, clean impressions.
As more advertisers and their media partners leverage tools that help them steer clear of invalid traffic, premium publishers will benefit by the artificial “supply” being constricted.
Publishers that offer highly viewable human impressions in brand safe environments will see their fill rates, CPMs, and overall yield rise as advertisers increasingly demand authentic impressions.
Publishers have a variety of tools to choose from to ensure the impressions they sell meet the demands of their advertisers, so that they can minimize discrepancies and maximize their monetized inventory.
The seemingly giant obstacles of ad blocking, user frustration, and complex advertiser demands are easily solved when publishers take advantage of the new era of ad technologies hitting the market. The resulting improvement in user experience, sell-through rates, and yield will be boons for the entire ecosystem.