All Viewable, All the Time: 33Across Launches AttentionX Marketplace

Imagine an open programmatic marketplace with a wealth of inventory from a variety of publishers… And it’s all in view, all the time—no need for trading platforms and DSPs to go sifting for the stuff their target audiences can actually see.

That’s the premise behind 33Across’ just-launched AttentionX exchange, which also enables time- and attention-based bidding optimization. I caught up with 33Across’ Eric Wheeler to hear more about the inner workings of AttentionX as well as garner takes on CPM vs. attention-based metrics and how publishers can best take advantage of buyer’s interest in optimizing on time in view.

GAVIN DUNAWAY: How does AttentionX differ from other real-time viewability buying solutions such as pre-bid viewability?

ERIC WHEELER: We’re filtering out all non-viewable inventory before it reaches our open exchange, taking advantage of our direct integrations with more than 1,500 publishers (real-time viewport analysis). This saves DSPs the time and resources to sift through the 50% or more of impressions that are not in-view once they reach they exchange.

A lot of exchanges are working with buyers to manually curate PMPs to do this. This is not particularly scalable or efficient.

EricWheeler HeadshotGD: 33Across leverages real-time quality filters—what variables are you examining outside of viewability?

EW: The foundation for the exchange is human and viewable. On top of that we’re also offering buyers the option to bid on other attention signals.

GD: Could you share some more details on 33Across’ attention-based bidding products?

EW: Right now, we’re able to let DSPs know the projected time-in-view for impressions. Via PMP, their buyers can now bid on placements known to be in-view for a certain minimum length of time.

For example, they can say we want to bid on 5-second impressions, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, etc. Buyers are still buying based on CPM, they are simply factoring in time-in-view as an optimization lever. Over time we expect that buyers will get better and better at understanding the value of these various attention levers.

Looking ahead we’re also testing other attention signals. For example, we’re alpha-testing share-of-voice, which allows buyers to bid more for 100% SOV.

GD: Time (and particularly engaged time) is a universal metric across media platforms. Are you moving towards selling on an engaged-time basis rather than CPM?

EW: One of our key focus areas (and differentiators) is building a true programmatic solution. This means being able to execute at meaningful scale. While time-based currencies have gotten some positive traction on a pub-direct level, CPM-based approaches will scale more easily across programmatic platforms. We’ve also conducted some qualitative and quantitative buyer research that validates a significant preference for CPM-based approaches in the short-term.

We think that CPM-based buying leveraging optimization on attention metrics (as described above) can drive significant positive changes for the industry without requiring massive upheaval for buyers.

GD: How should publishers adapt their monetization strategies as buyers are increasingly optimizing against time (or engaged time) in view?

EW: Understand how buyers are evaluating inventory and make sure you’re working with monetization partners that are in a position to: 1) compensate you fairly for the quality attention you’re delivering and 2) provide the insights that help you understand how your inventory performs against the metrics that matter.

Spoiler alert: we’re going to be announcing some new publisher-focused features that address these needs in a few weeks.