Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Adaptive streaming: the future for amplifying attention in digital advertising

by Sofia Helling, Client Director of ad tech platform SeenThis

The world of digital advertising moves at pace and, while attention has begun to establish itself as the metric of the moment, the fact remains that the industry still struggles to properly understand it, and has difficulty in harnessing its potential in both analysing (and attracting) consumer engagement.

The appreciation that a better understanding of attention is required has triggered a rush for brands, advertisers and publishers looking to develop the best, most efficient ways to court attention. There are now numerous options on the market, including high impact ad formats and contextual targeting, but recent research by attention analysis agency Lumen Research shows that SeenThis’ proprietary adaptive streaming solution is capable of maximising the potential amount of attention an ad receives.

Meet adaptive streaming

SeenThis’ solution is built on adaptive streaming, which ensures high quality creatives delivered with shortest load times. The technology that SeenThis has developed allows our clients to display to the end user  creative content instantly, resulting in increased performance, and with less negative impact on the environment because – in this context – our streaming uses less data. 

With SeenThis’ proprietary adaptive streaming, advertisements load instantly – and the data stops when they’re out of view – so the technology also has minimal negative impact on website performance as it reduces unnecessary workload. This means no extended load times and no downturn in conversion rates. 

Streaming for attention

The result of all this is that adaptive streaming is great at helping to ensure consumer attention, and this was recently ratified by a landmark piece of research carried out by Lumen Research on behalf of SeenThis. The study was commissioned to confirm just how much more attention can be generated by SeenThis-enabled video, in comparison to traditional delivered video advertising. 

Lumen constructed a test that compared three streaming creatives (provided by SeenThis) with standard video ads of the same format and dimensions. These creatives were placed in a test environment on a popular news website, and Lumen then performed a variety of tests on respondents, including eye tracking and recall. 

After the tests, respondents answered a series of spontaneous and prompted recall questions, and also questions on brand choice, past purchase frequency and, finally, browsing experience.

Enhanced attention performance

The results of Lumen’s test prove that SeenThis’ solution has some significant benefits over more traditional types of delivery when it comes to advertising video. The research also shows that the proprietary optimisation and data minimisation technology both play a large part in this success… especially surrounding attention. 

First up, the research found that 80% of ads using SeenThis technology grabbed attention compared to less than half using conventional technology. This proves that our streamed video ads are actually seen by more people.

Critically, SeenThis technology also increases the chances of an ad’s creative being viewable because its technology streams the ad (rather than downloading its content), which is extremely quick. The research also shows the results of a better browsing experience, meaning that SeenThis technology helped drive a more positive experience overall.

Most excitingly, Lumen was able to show that for every 1,000 impressions, SeenThis-enabled ads generate 1.7x more attentive seconds than video ads without the company’s technology. Although there were no shifts in average viewing time (the creatives were identical so expected behaviour), the big increase in the number of creatives actually viewed means that brands get more value for every 1,000 impressions they buy. 

Just the beginning

Lumen’s research has shown that the timing is right to pivot from conventional ad technology. And, with advertisers and brands deploying increasingly resource intensive ad creative, balancing the need for high quality ads with low website load times is going to be important as everyone scrambles for consumer attention. 

1  Our streaming technology uses less data (usually up to 40%) than conventional ad delivery methods. Conventional ad serving technology, assuming conventional codec 5264 main, MP4 progressive download.