Why Ozone is Pushing Attention Metrics Out to All its Advertisers

Tim Cross 31 January, 2023 

While a number of media buyers have started integrating attention metrics into their planning and reporting, this isn’t standard practice yet across the industry. But Ozone, a publisher ad alliance based out of the UK, has nonetheless started pushing out attention metrics to all advertisers as standard.

Back in 2021, Ozone launched its own ‘Attention Index’, a measure of advertising engagement which combines a number of different metrics (including active view, scroll rate, screen real estate, and touch rate) to give an overall view of how much attention each individual impression drew. Since then, the company has sent these scores out alongside client’s own KPIs within campaign reports.

By sending these attention metrics back to all clients, regardless of whether the buyer incorporates attention into planning and measurement, Ozone can hammer home the strengths of its premium media brands.

“Helping advertisers understand performance from a more qualitative perspective is incredibly important,” said Danny Spears, chief operating officer at Ozone. “That is what distinguishes a premium publisher brand from a long tail user-generated content site. And that’s why we felt the innovation around the Ozone Attention Index was incredibly important – whether or not advertisers are actively trading on it, this is something we can get into every campaign report to really bring that conversation to the fore.”

The Attention Index currently runs on display campaigns, but Ozone is working on bringing it across to video too. Nowadays, almost every video campaign run by Ozone has an engagement-based KPI attached – for example video completion rate or cost-per completed view – which Ozone will optimise towards. Spears says this is a step towards Ozone Attention Index for video.

A measurable difference

For a lot of the advertisers it works with, Ozone will hope that the Attention Index confirms what they already believe. Spears says that most advertisers don’t need convincing of the benefits of premium media, but fragmentation and complex supply chains makes following through on this conviction difficult. Thus, Ozone exists to make it easier for those advertisers to put their money where their mouths are. By pooling inventory and data, Ozone offers a scaled, single point of access to a range of premium publishers.

This is particularly important for video. “There’s this particular nuance around video, where there’s lots of demand for very little premium supply,” said Spears. “That should mean premium publishers active in that market are doing well, but actually they’re having fundamental issues monetising what little inventory they have.” Ozone steps in here by normalising supply of inventory across each publisher and their varied video players, ad servers, and the other nuances which separate their video offerings.

But scale and ease of access are just parts of the puzzle; measurement is still crucial. Even advertisers who believe in the value of premium media need to see that belief backed up by results – particularly during times like the present where CMOs are under increased pressure to justify their budgets. Thus, measurement has to show not just campaign reach, but the impact of those impressions.

The difficulty is that this impact isn’t necessarily captured by the ways many advertisers tend to measure their campaigns. “There’s this programmatic playing field that’s been set up by ad tech companies and platforms that is geared to serve the interests of businesses that focus on selling volume,” said Spears. “The concern for all quality content creators, whether you’re a broadcaster or a publisher, is that you’re being measured by a yardstick which is geared for volume, and doesn’t recognise their value in terms of deep engagement and the ability to influence consumers.”

This concern has surfaced in wider discussion around cross media measurement. Debate over cross media measurement is sometimes framed as ‘broadcasters vs everyone else’; while advertisers and tech platforms push for unified reach and frequency measures which work across all channels, some broadcasters resent the idea that TV ads and social video ads should be equated.

Ozone’s positioning around media quality means it might sit naturally on the broadcasters’ side of the argument. But Spears says Ozone is open minded towards these initiatives. “We’ve got a collaborative outlook,” he said. “We do however want to make sure measurement fairly recognises the value of creation, so we do have to be mindful of other agendas that are biased towards volume.”

This is where the Attention Index plays a role. Regardless of whichever volume-based metrics an advertiser is using, Ozone’s attention score will show up too – a reminder that not all impressions are created equal. And as Ozone increasingly talks to advertisers whose budgets are stretched, these metrics could prove crucial for maintaining or even growing a share of those budgets.

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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