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Sky Media focuses on attention metrics with new ‘ADsorption Index’

Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, has shared the findings of research which advances the conversation around attention. Attention metrics have been a hot topic in the industry, but Sky Media, together with Differentology, are introducing a new ADsorption Index which moves the conversation on from purely ‘eyes on screen’ to how actively absorbed viewers are in what they are watching.  

Part of Sky Media’s biggest-ever video content study into mood states and levels of absorption, The Age of ADsorption study, and the new propriety ‘ADsorption Index’ goes beyond attention, incorporating emotional involvement with the content. 

The research unveils a range of absorption moments for advertisers to tap into. These moments will help advertisers create a stronger connection between audiences and their messaging, delivering greater brand impact and more effective use of budgets. 

The index is constructed of two pillars, ‘how involved’ the audience is in the content through how ‘focused, engrossed and captivated’ they are. And ‘how much value’ they place on what they are watching through ‘passion and memorability’. 

Sarah Jones, Director of Planning at Sky Media said: “We’re really excited to be sharing our ADsorption Index with the industry. TV has always delivered high attention and impact, but absorption offers brands more insight into the viewing moments that matter for their target audience and gives media planners another lever to deliver competitive advantage.” 

Mark James, Founder and CEO, Differentology said: “The way in which viewers watch content involves more than just eyeballs on screen. This new tool broadens and deepens the attention conversation and keeps Sky at the forefront of content and advertising measurement.” 

Genres, Platform, and Time of Day 

The ADsorption Index identified Drama and Documentaries as the most absorbing genres along with Sport and Film. Each genre also has different strengths in absorption characteristics, Documentaries for example delivers highly for ‘Focused’ and ‘Engrossed’, whereas Film delivers well for ‘Captivated’ and ‘Memorable’. 

The index also highlights not only content but platforms that perform better for those engaged moments.  For example, when people select the shows they are passionate about on BVOD, the ADsorption Index can be as high as 142. Broadcaster VOD was identified as the most ‘absorbing’ platform. The time of day also plays a part, and absorption changes throughout the day with late evening proving to be the most impactful. 

The maximisation of absorption shouldn’t always be the aim. Both high attention and low attention processing can be important in different contexts and for different goals in advertising. 

For immediate impact and message retention, high attention processing is often crucial. Content and ads that capture viewers ‘full attention, and engage them deeply’, are more likely to be remembered and have a lasting impact on consumer behaviour. 

Conversely, low attention processing can be important for building brand familiarity and maintaining top-of-mind awareness over time. Content and ads that are easily processed without much mental effort can contribute to brand recognition and influence consumer behaviour more subtly over time. 

This new research and ADsorption Index are primarily focused on content moments and how absorbing they are for audiences. For the next phase of the index, Sky is looking to work with agencies and brands around ad creative synergy, aligning content and advertising around a single metric. Sky is looking for brands to test and optimise their TV campaigns using the ADsorption Index.