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Everything You Know About Ad Reloads is Wrong

Sovrn Publisher Advocate // April 23, 2019

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Historically, publishers have shied away from ad reload products for a few reasons: supposedly, they increase latency, hurt viewability, and anger demand partners. And historically, that has been true—but only because these products are based on old technology. Yes, old reload systems sucked.

Good thing ours doesn’t. Those concerns are outdated. Let’s break down how Signal destroys these myths.

Myth: Ad reloads cause latency

Truth: Signal creates no added latency.

There are five reasons for this: the way it’s coded, the way it’s packaged, the way it’s delivered, the way it loads, and the way it collects data.

  1. First, the Signal code is ultra-compressed, so it takes no time to load.
  2. Second, it’s delivered through AWS Cloudfront infrastructure.
  3. Third, Connect can use asynchronous tag loading to put Signal on your page, which means your page doesn’t stop parsing content while the Signal tag loads.
  4. Fourth, Signal only makes calls to its metrics collector when the reader is not actively engaged, which prevents slow load times.
  5. And finally, Signal uses only one piece of code to target every ad placement on your page, instead of relying on cumbersome zone-specific calls. Ultimately, Sovrn Signal is an incredibly intelligent product with no increase in latency or detriment to user experience.

Myth: Ad reloads hurt viewability and engagement scores

Truth: Signal improves viewability and engagement scores

Signal reloads ad zones when they’re viewable. Period. That means you never have to worry about loading an ad zone that’s not in the reader’s view. It also only reloads ads when your users are engaged, instead of relying on an unintelligent timer. Signal tracks 45+ different engagement metrics (including mouse and keyboard events) across 8 engagement categories to ensure that you’re reloading ads when and where they’ll be seen. This increases the viewability scores of the reloaded ad units.

Some Signal units—namely overlay and whitespace ads—are 100% viewable, as they dynamically load into your content. Again, buyers know that these units are always viewable—and they pay accordingly.

Myth: Buyers hate ad reloads

Truth: Buyers love Signal ad reloads

Buyers see viewability scores and use them to guide their bids. Because Signal improves viewability—by only showing viewable ads—buyers know that they’re getting access to valuable, always-viewable inventory whenever Signal is engaged. This is especially true of overlay and whitespace ads, which can bring you 5x the yield and 3x the fill of header bidding.

Additionally, because Signal defaults to a 30 second engaged-time buffer before reloading ads, buyers are assured that they’re never wasting spend. Peak ad engagement is reached at approximately 20 seconds, after which it plateaus, meaning that reloading an ad zone with Signal doesn’t hurt ad engagement.

Let’s recap:

Outdated wisdom will tell you that advertisers dislike ad reload products because they negatively impact viewability and engagement. However, Signal does the opposite. Signal boosts viewability, and only activates when users are engaged. This makes for valuable real estate, which buyers are happy to pay for. Because Signal is so easily customizable, you don’t have to change your page layout or get your engineering team involved. You make more money with fewer ads, buyers get access to the viewable, engaged inventory they want, your readers get a better, faster site experience, and everyone goes home happy.

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