Time spent on page is a foolproof way of determining just how interesting a piece of content is for the reader, and publishers now believe this could help them sell ads more effectively. 

A survey from Digital Content Next (DCN) states that 80% of publishers are already using time-based metrics in some form and, to cover all the bases, the remaining 20% have plans to use the measurement technique in the near future.

The publishers went on to confirm that time-based metrics could have a big future in ad selling and buying as companies look to secure a captivated audience.

Time is money

DCN claimed that time-based metrics would realign the pricing of ads by enforcing a refreshed need for on-page viewability. 

It was even claimed that trusted content metrics such as click-throughs could make way for time to become a more important factor in the media-buying arena. 

US publishers are certain of time’s bright future, with 52% backing it to replace the standard impression as a “universal currency” for ad units. A total of 48% believe it could overthrow click-throughs in the same position.

Such readings indicate that time is set to play a much bigger part in the sales story as websites reach out to publishers that wish to get their native or conventional display advertising noticed.

Industry backing

Formerly operating under the title of the Online Publishers Association, DCN has now surpassed 13 years as the trade organisation in charge of answering the needs of digital content companies. 

Jason Kint, CEO of the group, is adamant that time-based metrics can have a positive effect on the industry he serves.

“Valuing content based on the amount of time consumers spend with it provides a meaningful, cross-platform measurement for brand marketers and publishers rather than counting links and clicks,” he commented. 

“This has the potential to solve a host of industry problems.”

Still, with just under half of publishers (48%) lamenting a lack of research into time’s ability to boost ad effectiveness, sites may have to rely on tried and trusted metrics while a more in-depth review of the measure is conducted.