Attention metrics in programmatic advertising have been garnering more industry attention recently, but what are they and how can we apply them?

Attention metrics refer to the measurement of the ‘approximate consumer attention to both media placements and creative’. Essentially, the latest wave of attention tracking measurement is looking at who saw the ad, for how long, and what actions they took.

Viewability has been the long-standing industry benchmark to gauge the probability of an advertiser’s ad being seen and the quality of an impression. According to IAB standards, viewability is 50% of an ad in view for at least one second. But this measurement doesn’t quantify whether an ad has actually been looked at by the user, but rather whether it was on screen, which is where the shift in industry mindset stems from.

In terms of current solutions in the market, ad tech providers Playground XYZ have recently released their ‘video switch’ product which measures attention time across mobile. This technology is a form of machine learning that was built off data gathered from a team of 7000 panelists. The panelists opted into their onsite behaviour being tracked, as well as having their eye gaze behaviour, true attention time and other signals being captured. Through this AI, the ‘video switch’ product can then predict user behaviour and attention time across each ad platform and placement that an advertiser is serving their ads across.

Attention as a metric is still very much in its infancy and isn’t yet standardized across the industry. We can foresee attention continuing to play a key role in how advertisers measure campaign success and optimise our media buy, but alongside other engagement metrics such as click through rate, cost per click, etc. as advertisers have historically done with viewability. It’s also important to note where in the funnel the campaign sits, as attention metrics might not be the key KPI in driving the campaign goal. In this sense, attention metrics may be considered more relevant for evaluation in upper funnel activity, or viewed as a more secondary metric as the funnel progresses.

Reach out to your ADMATICian to discuss what attention metrics may mean for your brand. While this progression in industry measurement may not change your immediate strategy or campaign evaluation, attention should be a consideration for all brands and advertisers as ad technology continues to evolve.