Premium Websites Have Better Ad Engagement, New Adobe Survey Shows

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You, a working professional in media, probably already guessed that consumers are more likely to engage with advertisements on so-called premium media channels over non-premium media channels like user-generated content, non-broadcast video and social media feeds.

Now there’s data to support this, according to a report from YouGov in partnership with Adobe Analytics.

The survey’s findings, timed to CES 2020, analyzed the effectiveness of ads on premium publisher sites including The New York Times and CNN, TV networks such as ESPN+ and digital outlets like BuzzFeed. The survey was conducted among more than 3,500 Americans aged 18 to 64 about their thoughts on 30-second advertisements on these channels compared to those featuring user-generated content.

“Isolating the inventory was something we were particularly passionate about,” said Ian Monaghan, a product marketing manager with Adobe Advertising Cloud. “To understand how much context and quality really matter in the ad experience.”

Of the scenarios, video ads were rated highest on broadcast OTT channels among all KPIs analyzed, including clickthrough rates and competition rates. However, ads on TV were rated higher by those above 30 years old.

“I think people who watch a lot of TV and watch a lot of the news cycle get very jaded with the whole channel and system,” Monaghan said. “That probably reiterated the importance for diversifying your buy, not just across channels but across generations.”

Among premium channels, national news sites and magazines were rated lowest, but still performed much better than ads on non-premium sites. Viewable completion rates for desktop ads put on premium sites performed three times better compared to those on non-premium sites.

“Not to say this is a silver bullet, but part of the larger conversation [should be] that OTT is as effective and should be given a primary seat at the table alongside TV,” Monaghan said.

For all KPIs among non-premium channels, ads were rated highest on Blogger, and lowest on Reddit and Quora.

“We, as an industry, have been really good at targeting people at the right time,” Monaghan said. “Now we need to focus at the right place—the wheres and the when and the who.”

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