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This is How Attention-Based Pricing Works

Apr 28, 2016 / by Vitaly Pecherskiy



This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.


When you write an article, there’s a good chance you hope people read it. You wouldn't care if someone 'likes' it on Facebook unless that someone clicks on the link and actually reads it.


The problem with current content distribution channels is that they focus on metrics that aren't very relevant—impressions and clicks. Attention is the metric that we view as the foundation for measuring the success of content distribution efforts. We quantify attention as a function of a 15-second engagement with content.


If you've gotten to this point in the article, you now know what a 15-second engagement is :) What's particularly interesting with this metric is that if you get to this point of engagement with an article, you're very likely going to continue reading it. 


How did we land on 15-second engagement as the benchmark metric for our new pricing model at StackAdapt?


First, we did some research to see what the industry thinks the average attention span is. "The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds," reports Time Inc. By setting a threshold for significant attention—which is almost double the current average—we can, with certainty, conclude that a click wasn’t accidental and that the user was actually engaged with your brand’s messaging.


Second, we analyzed our own data. Reviewing tens of thousands of daily clicks that we track engagement on, we saw a strong correlation between users who passed the 15-second time-on-site mark and users who finished reading an article.


This is how attention based pricing works in practise. A user sees an in-feed native ad which gives the preview of the branded content they will be taken to after the click. A user clicks on the ad and is taken to brand-owned content (blog, content hub etc.). The advertiser only pays when the user has stayed on the content for over 15 seconds. The price the brand pays is cost-per-engagement (CPE).



What all of this means is that if you’re reading this sentence our assumptions are correct and CPE pricing works when it comes down to a guaranteed increase in the number of relevant reads of your branded content.


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