Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

Innovation in ads: Getting paid for people paying attention

In terms of the business of digital content, the last few years have been dominated by an overly simplistic battle of paid versus “free” content. Of course, the content isn’t free. It’s a discussion about the mix of who pays: the consumer or the advertiser? The heated discussion about paid versus advertiser-supported content in digital has been down to the fact that digital advertising doesn’t yet have the returns that print or broadcast advertising has. With pressure building to find a solution, we’re seeing experiments not only in paid content but also in advertising.

One such innovation comes from DoubleRecall, which Jeff John Roberts of media site paidContent describes as a “paywall buster”. Instead of asking people to pay for the content, DoubleRecall works to get people to pay more attention to the advertising. An advertisement pops up and asks readers to type in a word or words that are included in the ad to be able to access the content. It isn’t a paid content versus pure advertising model but can be used in a hybrid model. For instance, publishers can have a paywall, and audiences can gain access for the day by engaging with one of the ads – in other words entering the text.

DoubleRecall says that audiences have much higher response rates with its advertising than with traditional display delivering 11 times the brand awareness and 30 times the click through rate of traditional banner ads. The company also claims that publishers are seeing a 300% increase in average reader revenue. In other words, the company is claiming that its customers are getting 10 times the rate of traditional banner advertising.

The service works both on mobile and traditional websites, and it’s seeing a lot of take up in Europe, where 20 publishers and 200 brands are using the service.

In an interview with Ryan Kim of GigaOm, Julien Coustaury, co-founder of DoubleRecall, said:

It’s like killing three birds with one stone. Advertisers are happy with more bang for their buck; publishers are happy with monetizing without a paywall; and readers can get premium content without paying hard cash for it.

With the rise of digital content, we will see an increase in innovation not only in content but also in advertising to support that content. This is just one option, and we’ll be on the lookout for other ideas to increase the returns from digital ads.

Article by Kevin Anderson

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