And frankly, it's about time.
Digital media has long proclaimed its value as a branding vehicle in addition to direct response, which is sadly how most people still view it. I think this shift makes a lot of sense.
Way back in 2000, I pushed my media-buying team to do things like only pay for unique audience impressions and/or verified audiences. This was an attempt to shift the conversation away from performance pricing to valuing the eyeballs, but most publishers resisted.
We couldn't make it scale at that time, but eventually a number of advertisers did adopt versions of this into their buying models. This shift is similar in my eyes, but there is an additional benefit that I think may be overlooked.Moving to duration weighting would actually provide the opportunity for the media and the creative to become more aligned again. For a video to be watched all the way through, the placement and audience certainly have to align, but the message itself must be engaging.
Basically, the creative has to be good.
If a marketer wants to push a publisher to price their inventory with a duration weighted approach, the publisher should have final call on whether the creative is any good or not.If the creative sucks, the publisher should not allow that buying model. If the creative is strong, the publisher should consider it.
Too much online video creative is just repurposed TV creative, and too much TV commercial creative is not very good.
The medium of digital provides more opportunity. If you want to see what can be done, look at the top YouTube stars and what they do. In my house, we watch a lot of “Dude Perfect.”
These guys have taken sports-oriented trick shots to an entirely new level and the way they leverage the medium is brilliant, which is why they did over $20 million in revenue last year (not bad for a bunch of dudes in Texas).
They integrate humor and excitement, they bake in advertisers, and they use multiple methods of engaging their viewers.
I realize that the analogy of Dude Perfect to some standard CPG or Tech brand may be not be clear, but my point is to take innovation where you find it and try to apply the model to what you do.
After all, there is rarely anything brand new anymore. It's all about repurposing what you see and applying it to a new place.
Duration weighting provides a unique chance for the publishers to have more involvement in what gets run on their platforms.
In traditional TV, the network can say yes or no to ads because they want to maintain quality control over what their audience sees.
The same can be done online if this model gets adopted at all.
I am not pushing for it to be the only model, but I like the option for a media buyer to have this in their arsenal of tools to negotiate with, and I like the reciprocal value for the publisher.
Online publishers fall into two camps these days.
They are either strong, well-branded publishers who can work directly with advertisers and command a premium, or they are programmatic. The former are few and the latter are broad.
I would think providing the few with the tools to create more value would be considered. Don't you?