The Financial Times has just changed the world of advertising and commercial Internet history by launching a new digital advertising metric – cost-per-hour, or CPH. The new system, created by The Financial Times together with Chartbeat, is intended to increase the effectiveness of digital marketing by measuring the length of time each ad is being viewed.
This measurement was first offered as a pilot in the fall of 2014 after under-going successful trials on FT.com. Ten companies were also part of these trials, including companies like IBM, BP, and iShares.
According to Financial Times, the results of the trials proved that recognition of each brand increased among viewers and also ensured 100% viewability for at least five seconds for clients. The Financial Times was able to successfully report the length of time every advertisement was being viewed as well as the exposure duration associated with specific advertising campaigns.
Dominic Good, the advertising sales director of the Financial Times, said, “For the nearly three decades of commercial Internet history, advertising has derived its value from one measure: how many people click on an ad. Low viewability scores and questions about advertising placement and fraud have increased the need for better measurement and transparency to demonstrate the actual outcome an advertiser is seeking.”
The difference between CPH and traditional CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions) in Pay per click, is that cost-per-hour uses viewing time in order to measure ad value. Advertisements that are seen for 5 seconds or longer on FT.com were able to increase brand recognition by 50% compared to ads seen for a shorter period of time. According to the new plan, advertisers who collaborate with the Financial Times will pay for advertisements only if their ad was seen by a viewer for 5 seconds or more.
The role of Chartbeat in this project was to provide measurements of when a user is actually seeing an ad, rather than just measuring whether a certain page or element containing the ad is loaded or visible on the screen. Charbeat is able to determine whether a user is active and seeing an advertisement by tracking the movements of the user’s mouse.