Will Infinite Scrolling and Lazy Loading Help Publishers?

If there’s anything that can convince you that times are changing –again–in the online advertising business, it’s the relatively new practice of “lazy loading” pages. Unless you’re deep in the weeds of the business, you may not even know what this term means, but it is a new way to make pages load faster, and ironically may also be a way to make ads more visible.

In the old days of web design, the job of a good browser was to load an entire web page at one time, no matter how many outside calls and redirects the server has to make, as quickly as possible. Even if the user isn’t on that part of the page, the browser would load it anyway. That’s why everyone demanded to be above the fold.

But web design has changed. Now there’s just in time loading, or “lazy loading,”  a relatively new method of web design that renders the page on an as-needed basis,  only when a user is scrolling down to that piece of content.

Lazy loading pages are perfect for our InView Slider formats, which work especially well on web pages that are designed for infinite scrolling (which most new high traffic sites favor.)The content available to the user isn’t all loaded at once, because it would take forever; rather, the page renders as the user scrolls to it, and if you don’t scroll down, the content isn’t rendered.  So lazy loading any web content, ads included, means the web server only provides the necessary source code to the browser as the user needs it.That’s what makes our InView Slider so “polite.”

The New York Times switched to lazy loading and achieved a 50% improvement in the performance of its pages. In its blog, the Times said it switched to stop its pages from being slowed down by advertising.

Why is this good for viewability?

From the publisher standpoint,

aside from the performance benefits of lazy loading ad content … is the happy consequence that every ad view is also visible to the user, since the content is only rendered when the user is scrolling the content into view.  While it’s true there’s still a lingering debate over how viewability is measured – this Digiday postgives a good overview on the complexities of each viewability vendor using different methodologies to measure the same MRC standard (50% of the ad content in-view for at least one second) – there’s no question that a lazy loading strategy is far superior to traditional content rendering in terms of ensuring your ad requests are viewable.

Although viewability metrics probably won’t be the gold standard for billing in the near term, eventually they probably will be. The downside of this is the potential loss of inventory to the publisher. However, lazy loading their pages could let publishers  keep user-friendly page layouts and not worry as much about 3rd party viewability measurement. And, of course, the viewability would improve even further if the site published high quality content that encouraged engagement.

It’s funny how everything boils down to high quality at the end of the day.

 

Almost Half of Video Consumed is Advertising

An amazing new chart we discovered this morning via Statista has demonstrated that there’s a reason publishers like our native InArticle Video ads. As of March 2014, nearly 40% of all video viewed online was advertising. Even advertising-averse Millennials seem to be watching video ads online.

Percentage of video ads viewed grows

Percentage of video ads viewed grows

According to comScore, “Americans viewed more than 28.7 billion video ads in March, with LiveRail capturing the #1 position with 3.9 billion ad impressions. AOL, Inc. came in second with 3.8 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Platform with 3.1 billion, Google Sites with 3.1 billion and TubeMogul Video Ad Platform with 3 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 10.9 billion minutes, with AOL, Inc. delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.7 billion minutes.

Video ads reached 54.3 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 170 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 82.”

Most video ads on the sites listed above are delivered as pre-roll. Our publishers, many of whom are not predominantly video content sites, want to reap the benefits of video advertising, too. That’s where InArticle works well; it delivers a video ad experience while a visitor is reading an article or scrolling through a social stream, thus expanding the reach of advertisers who want to reach new audiences.

Mobile Crosses Desktop in the UK, MEA

As far back as 2010, Morgan Stanley predicted that the mobile web would rule by 2015. Well, we beat that prediction in the US back in February 2014,   CNN Money wrote the story, which turned up a more important fact: that most of mobile traffic occurs through apps, and only 8% through browsers.

“Mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States in January. Apps made up 47% of Internet traffic and 8% of traffic came from mobile browsers, according to data from comScore, cited Thursday by research firm Enders Analysis. PCs clocked in at 45%.”

Globally, the latest study we can find was released by Cisco in early 2014. Just look at the growth in Asia, notably in Korea and Japan, which have long had faster, cheaper mobile networks than the U.S.

 

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But there’s a much more important number on the horizon now: for the first time this month, mobile web traffic has exceeded that of desktop in the UK.  On Digiday we read that “with 61 percent of U.K. adults now claiming to own a smartphone and 44 percent of households owning a tablet, according to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, mobile is becoming the preferred mode of access for British Web users.” The Guardian,  thought leader in UK digital news, overhauled its mobile app this spring, because over 40% of its readers access the site on mobile during the week, and on weekends that increases to 60%. These numbers are in a state of flux, increasing almost monthly.And while only a small number of Guardian readers use the Guardian’s app to access its stories, those people are the most engaged, generating 20% of the page views.

And, from the same Cisco study predicting mobile traffic 2013-2018, we learn that the fasted growth going forward will, predictably, be in the Middle East and Africa, where millions of new internet users will get online for the first time through smartphones in the next few years.

So what’s YOUR mobile ad strategy? How will you reach a global audience? As the largest independent ad server in the world, we think we can help.

 

ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – August 2014

Custom Rich Media Ads on Roadblock template:

We have now added support for Custom Rich Media Ads under the Roadblock Create ad template which will allow users to create Roadblock ads using multiple Rich Media Ads.

Below is the screenshot of the template:

august2014

 

Other Enhancements:

  • Non-editable start date for All Campaign
    The start date of a campaign will be disabled after any ad in the campaign serves its first Impressions/Clicks/Actions or other event metrics.
  • Fix for AS3 click tag detection
    All Issues related to AS3 click tag detection in the create ad form are now resolved.

Programmatic Spend Reveals Greater Planning

Programmatic advertising has outgrown its original reputation as a place to pick up cheap remnant inventory at the last minute. As brands and agencies try to meet consumers where they are, they are finding the need to look across the media landscape for the same customer on a number of different devices and on a variety of platforms.The consumer has become, quite literally, a moving target, and there is simply no other way to build scalable campaigns without the automation and reach programmatic can offer . Although the retail and CPG industries have been in the forefront of this movement, they’re followed closely by travel, telecom, and financial services — all fields in which competition is fierce.

As a concomitant, the RTB environment has grown to include much more than simple display advertising. You can buy pretty much any kind of advertising in real time now, even video. From January through April 2014, display advertising remained fairly constant, but all other data-driven marketing channels grew, according to Turn’s Advertising Intelligence Index. Across all the channels, the competitive advertisers are beginning to plan in advance and stabilize at higher levels of spend.

Turns study reported a decrease in the volatility of spend, as well as growth in the number of dollars spent. This information reveals that marketers are planning in advance for cross-platform campaigns, rather than operating through trial and error and merely reacting. Once marketers recognize that they have to  leverage data and approach planning with a new appreciation for cross-channel impact, smoother spend is a natural consequence.

Compared to the same period in 20o13, Turn saw far less budget allocated at the end of traditional marketing quarters this year—advertisers are planning programmatic strategies in advance and are preparing better for seasonal patterns and variations in the marketplace.

It’s about time marketers approached their media buys more strategically, and thought more about how to execute programmatic campaigns for maximum audience effect across channels. More marketers are entering every channel, in every industry, leading to stiffer competition for available inventory. They are getting smarter about harnessing data and targeting spending to find customers across the media landscape. The degree of volatility still varies across channels, but Turn says mobile, social, and video are all converging toward the stable, consistently high level of competition that we’ve seen in the display market for some time now.

If you’re not already running a cross-channel integrated marketing campaign, leveraging audience data and your own customer data, you’ve lost your advantage in the programmatic market.

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Copyright 2014 ZEDO, Inc.