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Online magazine environments deliver higher quality attention

  • Date:

    25 March 2021

Online magazine environments deliver higher quality attention

Adverts appearing on magazine websites outperform digital attention norms, according to new research from Magnetic, and Lumen, the Eye Tracking advertising research company. The research indicates that ads on magazine sites get more attention because people read the pages more intently, creating more dwell time for the ads to be noticed. 

In the study ‘Putting Attention in Context’, magazine websites garnered more attentive seconds per 1000 impressions when compared with quality digital display. When viewed on mobile, magazine sites achieve 1634 attentive seconds per 1000 impressions, compared with just 806 seconds for other types of quality digital display on mobile. When viewed on desktop, magazine websites achieve 1620 seconds vs 1008 seconds for other types of quality digital display. This means that, on mobile, magazines generate twice as much attention as other types of content sites.

The average eyes on dwell time in seconds also rises for online magazine environments – 2 seconds, on desktop compared with just 1.4 for quality digital display. This drops to 1.3 for Instagram in-feed ads on mobile.  

The study also looked at the relationship between attention and recall, showing that more attention does lead to greater recall, both in terms of prompted and spontaneous brand recall. Attention also leads to increased intention to purchase, even after a single exposure – it was 3% higher amongst those who were shown to have looked at the ad.

Lumen recreated the magazine website experience with mocked up pages, incorporating ads placed where they would normally be, and used its eye-tracking technology to see where people looked, whether they noticed ads, and how long they spent looking at them. 

Sue Todd, CEO at Magnetic said: “We’ve long known that magazines provide a trusted, relevant environment for passionate audiences, and that the advertising is welcomed – and this research confirms it. Ads on magazine sites get more attention because they stand out, they have more space and less clutter. Contextual media should be on the mind of every planner and brand looking to make meaningful, relevant and valuable connections with like-minded communities. At a time when there is uncertainty about the implications of the demise of the cookie, this is great news for advertisers. It provides confidence that investment in context could be one solution to achieving effectiveness in the digital space.” 

Mike Follet, managing director at Lumen said: “Attention is what all advertisers are really seeking, and it’s clear that magazines really deliver on this – and that’s even more the case for magazine websites. We can now see that digital attention leads to intention to purchase – even after just one exposure. All this means that digital publisher environments are more attractive to clients who want their money to garner more value. Advertisers who want to command attention should be looking to ‘slow scrolling media’, intensely read content that creates windows of long viewable time for ads to be noticed, as well as sites that offer fewer, better ads. Previous research from Lumen has shown that attention to advertising drops sharply as ad load increases – having multiple ads on the screen at once reduces attention to each ad significantly.”

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