New IAB Task Force Seeks to Standardize Attention Measures

Sovrn Advertising Team // June 9, 2023

At Sovrn, we’re committed to helping publishers thrive by capturing audience attention and maximizing return on high-value ad inventory. We believe that publishers who create engaging content should be rewarded for their efforts — publishers who can deliver clear attention signals to buyers can command higher rates for high-value inventory — and the ad ecosystem should evolve to do just that.

That’s why we’re long-time advocates of increased transparency in the ad ecosystem and a stronger focus on attention as a measure of ad quality. To that end, Sovrn is excited to participate in the IAB Attention Task Force to help bring about alignment and standards for defining and measuring attention.

What is the IAB Attention Task Force?

Publishers and advertisers alike understand that an engaged audience is more valuable than one that’s not paying attention. Engaged users are more likely to view an ad, click on it, and ultimately make a purchase. 

To date, however, there is no universal definition of “attention” and no widely accepted standards for measuring it. The IAB Attention Task Force was convened to:

  • Establish a clear, consistent set of definitions of attention
  • Develop a set of metrics that measure attention in different contexts and situations
  • Create standardized attention metrics that are widely accepted and used across different applications

In order to standardize attention, it’s critical to create a strong knowledge base. The IAB Attention Task Force is bringing together many different stakeholders — attention providers, publishers, advertisers, and marketers — to share their unique perspective, offer solutions, and collaborate on the development of educational guides, presentations, best practices and other resources. 

Why did Sovrn agree to join the IAB Attention Task Force?

By participating, Sovrn has the opportunity to help define and standardize industry metrics and requirements, while representing the interests of the publisher. This task force is a big step forward for the ad industry, and we’re proud to play a role along with other IAB member companies in defining the future of online advertising. 

For more than seven years, Sovrn has offered publishers a way to measure and monetize user attention through multiple mechanisms, including our “engaged time” attention metric and our proprietary data tool, Sovrn Signal. Using Signal, publishers can:

  • Understand the metrics buyers use to value ad inventory
  • Benchmark ad performance against the market and other similar sites
  • Identify, segment, and broadcast your most engaged audience segments
  • Deliver high value inventory to buyers through attention deals

Simply put, Signal provides an easy, scalable way to measure user attention, package high-value inventory, and broadcast engagement signals to ad buyers. Across the entire programmatic stack, Signal leverages attention metrics to pinpoint your most engaged — and most valuable — ad inventory, so you can maximize ad revenue.

Prepare for the future today

As definitions and requirements around attention are formalized, both advertisers and publishers will need to adjust. But change often brings opportunity for those who are prepared to embrace it. And when publishers have the right tools to capture and broadcast attention signals, everyone wins.

Ready to see Signal in action? Just email us at request a free demo. 

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