When the devastating Haiyan typhoon hit the Philippines in November 2013, global charity Concern Worldwide needed to raise funds quickly to aid to those affected by the disaster. Concern Worldwide works regularly in partnership with communities to provide practical, intelligent solutions that save lives and build livelihoods. In the charity sector, when disaster strikes, response time is crucial to those in need of relief. When this natural disaster struck, Concern Worldwide knew that acting quickly would be crucial to raise funds for all those in need.

Concern Worldwide runs display advertising through Quantcast all year round, meaning that Quantcast has continually built custom models of the charity’s online audience and the typical donor. When the typhoon struck, Concern Worldwide immediately created new display ads designed to increase awareness and drive new donations, which were implemented across the charity’s live campaigns.

Quantcast combined its Big Data and Predictive Intelligence and then matched the custom audience profile of the Concern Worldwide donor against its real-time view of the Web to identify the highest-value matches through targeted advertising. Quantcast’s comprehensive and instantaneous map of the Web enabled the custom model to adapt quickly to the changes in Concern Worldwide’s customer audience profile and to account for the different demographic profile of the new donor. Quantcast’s real-time bidding did the rest, accurately bidding to ensure maximum return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).

The campaign resulted in over 275 donations per week at the height of the crisis, compared to an average of eight. Quantcast also helped Concern Worldwide to:

  1. Achieve a 2779% peak ROAS and an average ROAS of 606%
  2. Generate a total of €85,000, bringing help to 400 fishing families
  3. Beat CPA target by 83%

To learn more about Concern Worldwide and how you can help, visit its site. If you want to achieve great results and find new customers, contact Quantcast.

Posted by Rebecca Muir, Product Marketing Lead EMEA

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Smartphones introduced browsing on the go. Tablets and connected TVs brought us browsing on the couch. Now with connected cars like the Tesla Model S, we have browsing while driving. Almost lost amid the Tesla Model S’s firsts, the in-dash touchscreen browser was the first available as standard equipment in a large-scale production car. Now that the car has been on the market for over a year, with about 25K cars on the road, we thought it would be interesting to see what Tesla drivers are browsing. We found surprising results that might speak more about Tesla drivers than the future of connected cars.

The Tesla browser

In the Tesla Model S, a large, 17-inch touchscreen replaces the standard center console where you’d typically find audio and climate controls. The touchscreen offers a basic web browser, which supports HTML5, but not Flash. The browser is always available—it can be used even when the car is in motion.


(Courtesy Chris Martin/Flickr)

News tops the list of visited sites

We looked at the 100 million digital destinations using Quantcast Measure to learn what types of sites Tesla drivers are visiting. Using a browser identifier known as the user agent to isolate Tesla activity, we found 463K page views over a 30-day period, counting only sites with more than 100 page views.

We found that Tesla browsers visit a lot of news sites, far more than in typical online browsing. Among the most visited news sites was drudgereport.com, which commanded 10 percent of all Tesla page views. The types of news sites visited were also surprising—local news made up 26 percent of sites visited in the news category. Drivers might value these sites because they offer a convenient portal to find local news content, traffic and weather.

Finance news was very popular for Tesla browsers, specifically news about the financial markets. These sites commanded over 13 percent of Tesla browser page views, which is at least twice the share typically seen online.

In the sports news category, the most surprising finding was the popularity of Surfline.com, a site reporting surf conditions and news that was among the top three sports destinations for Tesla browsers. While its popularity reflects the fact that almost half of Tesla sales have been in California, it also reflects the particular interests of Tesla buyers—even in California, surfing sites are typically not among the top sites.

Can’t stop the Tesla Model S

Just how California-centric is the Tesla Model S? To find out, we looked at page views from the Tesla browser by state.

While California was responsible for the majority of Tesla browsing activity, as expected, we were surprised to see Georgia and Texas as the next most active states. Texas bans Tesla from selling directly to customers in the state, but that’s clearly not stopping Texans from purchasing and driving the Model S.

Usage by time of day: Uncovering surprising midday usage

To understand how Tesla drivers use their browsers throughout the day, we looked at browsing activity in California, where the majority of browsing takes place. This data included approximately 416K page views over a 30-day period.

What first stands out is the relatively uniform usage between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., forming something of a plateau during working hours. The curve is more similar to how people use desktop computers than tablets or mobile phones.

The significant usage during midday and especially afternoon hours begs the question: Do Tesla owners simply drive all day? Or, if we assume Tesla drivers follow regular commute patterns, who is browsing during the day?

We looked at what content is consumed throughout the day for a possible clue. While the morning starts with more Tesla browsers visiting finance and news sites, page views on entertainment sites peak between 1 and 3 p.m., when news visits are slightly down. Between 5 and 7 p.m., page views on news sites rise again. So it does appear that midday browsing on entertainment sites helps create that usage plateau. Whether the people reading news during the commute hours are the same ones looking for entertainment during midday, we might save for a later analysis.

Not the future, but something like it

While the Tesla Model S is the first large-scale production car shipped with a standard web browser, it’s not clear that browsing behavior from the Model S can foretell the future use of connected cars as a media platform. Connected cars will evolve as automakers begin to offer native app environments from Google and Apple. The current browsing activity appears to be more reflective of Tesla owners, half of whom live in California and are self-selected to have higher incomes and be early tech adopters. What we can say is that Tesla owners are using their in-dash browsers for news, finance and more, even though they presumably have smartphones on hand. Tesla drivers have validated the value of an in-car browsing experience that goes beyond destination finding—an early indicator that the connected car is a new media platform to watch.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Publisher Product Marketing, and Samuel Lo, Data Anthropologist

As consumers continue their march toward tablets and mobile devices, many publishers are looking beyond traditional display banners for monetization, exploring both native opportunities and emerging formats such as in-image and in-screen ads. To learn more about these new units, we spoke with Greg Pritchard, VP of Publisher Services at GumGum, a leading in-image ad platform and Quantcast Measure user.

What is GumGum?

GP: GumGum is a new kind of advertising platform, dedicated to creating consumer engagement inline with premium editorial content where it’s guaranteed to be seen without being disruptive to the user experience. We’re known best for creating the in-image advertising category in 2008, and have since introduced other non-standard, multi-screen display ad formats to increase revenue for publishers.

How did you get started?

GP: Our CEO and founder, Ophir Tanz, is a Carnegie Mellon graduate with a passion for how people consume content, especially images. He saw an opportunity to help publishers turn photos into ad inventory and to provide marketers with a new way to engage audiences by elegantly serving contextually relevant ads over images.

Who is your audience?

GP: We work with quality content publishers of all sizes and find the most demand from our advertisers in the automotive, entertainment, health, food, fashion and sports verticals. When we introduced In-Screen Ads last year, it opened new opportunities for GumGum publishers, not just those with editorial images and photo galleries. Collectively, our more than 1,000+ publisher partners help us reach 330 million global monthly uniques.

What are you measuring?

GP: Metrics drive our business and Quantcast Measure is one of the tools we use to understand the properties of our platform and to gain insight about individual publishers. We’ve set up custom measurement segments in Quantcast so we can understand audiences by content category. The ability to easily find the inventory that can deliver a high composition of a particular demographic results in better performance for our advertisers, and ultimately more revenue for our publishers.

Why did you choose Quantcast Measure?

GP: Quantcast Measure provides us with an inordinate amount of data and extensive insight into the partners we work with and the audiences they reach. Because the data isn’t panel-based, we think it effectively measures our growing mobile usage and further helps us to quantify and communicate the value of our audience to our partners in the US and internationally.

Any recent success you’d like to share?

GP: We’re very proud to be among the top three fastest growing ad platforms measured by Quantcast in the past year (based on monthly global uniques) and believe this reflects our dominant position as the leading in-image advertising platform. We’ve put a lot of effort into educating the industry about in-image, including a white paper we authored on the subject and invite your readers to download at http://gumgum.com/research.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Publisher Product Marketing

On March 31, 2014, the Media Ratings Council (MRC)’s lifted the Viewable Impression Advisory for Display advertising. The detailed communication that summarizes the background on addressing viewability measurement limitations and subsequent steps to improve measurement consistency across vendors can be found in the the News Section of MRC’s website.

If an ad cannot be seen, clearly it cannot influence the consumer. This makes ad “viewability” a critical issue for the digital advertising industry, an industry where accountability and the ability to optimize effectively are paramount.

Our goal is to become a leader in advertising that delivers maximum campaign effectiveness with viewability. We have done extensive experimentation to determine the most effective viewability solutions as well as improve our systems to both report on viewability and prepare for transacting on viewable impressions. Today, we can transact with a Viewability Goal or Guarantee and are actively working on a Viewability-CPM based product.

In the course of our testing, we found 3 key lessons that are vital to running a high-performance viewability optimized campaign:

  1. Set appropriate goals. Today, due to viewability rates of most high-volume domains, it is difficult to achieve greater than 70% viewability with your RTB ads. We expect this number will increase over time as large publishers optimize their own sites for viewability.
  2. Use an MRC-accredited vendor. As a baseline, advertisers should choose to work with IAB and MRC-accredited vendors. MRC accreditation helps ensure a common baseline in performance and measurement, and is a useful guide for ensuring that your viewability vendor has been audited by industry experts.
  3. Keep viewability goals consistent across comparable campaigns. Without a viewability-enabled attribution system, a campaign that buys low-viewability, last-view impressions will appear to perform better than one that buys high-viewability, high-quality inventory. Keep a level playing field by holding all vendors on a plan to the same viewability goal.

For your reference, Quantcast developed this White Paper to help advertisers better understand the benefits of incorporating viewability into their campaigns and to learn more about our findings.

To find out more about our Viewability solutions, contact your Quantcast representative or email inquiries@quantcast.com.

After all, there’s no denying it’s a game changer for the television industry.

The new system enables better targeting of ads to individual consumers and far greater clarity regarding to whom the ads are being shown in the first place.

To the online world however, this all feels terribly dated.

In recent years, whilst digital has trail-blazed, the television industry as a whole has looked the other way and kept faith with the 33-year-old Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) for its audience measurement.

BARB is an antiquated system, which uses viewer data from 5,100 homes to report viewing figures to advertisers that are supposed to be representative of a UK population of about 63 million people.

Though Sky’s AdSmart move is to be commended as a first step in the right direction, there is still a very long way to go for the television industry – surely nobody can argue that a move into ad server technology by a television broadcaster isn’t long overdue. It’s also the only way that advertiser funded television stands any chance of survival in the digital age.

The backbone of Sky’s AdSmart system is this dynamic ad server technology, built into Sky+ set top boxes. Different campaign creatives can be over-layed with numerous different data sets and the resulting ads are chosen to be relevant to each individual home.

In other words, you and your neighbour can both be watching the football on a Sunday afternoon but you’ll both see different ads at half-time. Advertisers will target you based on granular factors such as location, affluence, children’s ages, life stage and financial outlook.

The only data Sky can currently work from is Experian’s records and basic profile information from Sky+ accounts. Other broadcasters will be keen to see how ad server technology can produce viewer insights as well as more accurate data regarding who saw which advert and what they did next.

At Quantcast we began pioneering this type of measurement back in 2006 and the ad tech industry seems to be light years ahead of television in terms of ad targeting.

In the coming years, every medium that wants to remain competitive will move towards personalisation and more targeted data-driven advertising. It was just a matter of time for TV to follow suit. Utilising data to deliver advertising can lead to benefits for both the advertisers via a more targeted approach and the consumer as it enhances their experience and serves advertising they are more likely to be interested in.

In what feels like the dim and distant past, websites worked with aggregated information and guess-work, but that was then and this is now. Advertisers are wising up and the television industry needs to stay relevant or risk going the way of other sectors left utterly disrupted by modern technology and innovation.

An even bigger question we should also ponder is what even constitutes ‘television’ anymore and what sort of companies will be best equipped to succeed in the broadcast field in the coming years.

When you take a step back from it all, for most people today their television is little more than an easy access portal for entertainment and news that their sofas point at.

In future, thanks to initiatives such as Sky AdSmart, the box in the corner of the room will be better at understanding your viewing habits, brand interactions, social media usage and internet navigation, but the stark reality is that online and television is merging and becoming blurred to the point of irrelevance.

Quantcast, along with the rest of the online advertising industry, has no interest in watching television broadcasters and media buyers struggle over its equivalent of yesteryear quandaries such as what’s more effective, clicks or views? Or the cost per action model versus the cost per thousand impressions model debate.

The emergence of online real-time advertising has already helped us to solve these problems. If television doesn’t wake up and start talking to experts in the digital advertising arena, real-time and targeted advertising via the TV will stutter and ultimately fail to take-off.

If TV is really serious about a move towards personalisation and more targeted data-driven advertising, it’ll take more than just Sky to show BARB the ropes. Traditional broadcasters need to work together and learn from the pioneers of the digital world, or the likelihood is that ‘the revolution will not be televised’ as we know it.

Originally posted in MediaWeek on March 12, 2014 by Phil Macauley, Managing Director, Europe, Quantcast

Quantcast is very happy to confirm Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist, as a keynote speaker at Supernova, a summit dedicated to our customers on March 25 in San Francisco.

In his role as Cisco’s chief futurist, Evans is an evangelist who shares his vision of technology’s evolution in anticipation of the coming decades. Evans assesses technology’s future impact on Cisco customers, businesses, and industries, with the goal of evoking inspiration when it comes to the practical application of technological advances.

Evans will be speaking alongside industry leaders such as Forrester CMO Practice Vice President David Cooperstein; The Economist Data Editor Kenneth Cukier; and key marketers from KQED, CloSYS and Crate and Barrel’s Land of Nod.

Please visit the Supernova site to learn more.

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We are very pleased to announce that Quantcast was awarded the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) Trust Seal. The EDAA Trust Seal signifies that Quantcast has been independently certified for compliance with the EU Self-Regulatory Programme on Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA). This seal certifies that Quantcast’s systems and policies provide consumers with notice and choice about usage and collection of data along with greater transparency and control over digital advertising. Read more here.

Posted by Amit Kotecha, Head of Marketing, EMEA

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On March 25, Quantcast will host a summit dedicated to our customers in San Francisco. Dubbed “Supernova,” the event will explore the impact of big data and smart technologies on the future of marketing. Supernova will aim to focus on important issues at the forefront of digital advertising, from understanding attribution to mobile marketing and beyond.

We are very excited to announce two confirmed keynote speakers for Supernova: The Economist Data Editor Kenneth Cukier, Forrester CMO Practice Vice President David Cooperstein. In addition we have confirmed key marketers from Crate and Barrel’s Land of Nod, KQED and CloSYS.

Kenneth Cukier is the coauthor of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. It is the first systematic treatment of this emerging science, which Kenn argues is a revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press. Kenn explores the amazing new possibilities that big data open – in business, health, politics, education, innovation, and much more.

As a VP at Forrester, David serves CMOs as a leading expert in digital marketing and strategy, with hands-on senior management experience in social media and online advertising. David worked at Forrester from 1996 to 2002 in the telecom and retail verticals and rejoined in 2009. He helped define the multichannel retail world, predicted the demise of many of the dot-com retailers, and uncovered the true economics of bandwidth during his first tenure with Forrester.

In the next few weeks, we will announce additional industry leaders and key marketers who will discuss winning strategies. For more information about the summit, visit the www.quantcastsupernova.com.

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With greater distances between families and increasingly busy lives, millions of people find themselves in a frustrating position while looking for caregiving solutions for aging loved ones. Our Quantified publisher, Caring.com, helps by being a resource for information and community for those in this position. To learn more about Caring.com, we spoke with Katie Roper, VP of Sales.

What is Caring.com?

KR: Founded in 2007, Caring.com is a leading online destination and network for people seeking information and support as they face the many challenges that come with caring for aging loved ones.

How did your site get started?

KR: The site founder, Andy Cohen was inspired start Caring.com when he experienced a frustrating and confusing time looking for resources to help his mother who had cancer. It was particularly challenging to find resources at a distance, as Andy lived in Silicon Valley and his mother was in Chicago. Caring.com is like Yelp for elder care, providing consumer ratings and zip-code-searchable facilities. The site covers health, nutrition, legal issues, financial tips, and safety.

What are you measuring and why?

KR: Our sales team sells directory listings and advertising space to relevant advertisers. So we use Quantcast to measure visitors, and keep our profile open to the public so we can use it as a sales tool.

Have you found any new information via Quantcast that surprised you?

KR: No. We use Quantcast because the information does not surprise us!

Why/how did you choose Quantcast?

KR: We started using Quantcast in 2009, a couple of years after we got started. It’s free, easy to use and accurate!

What are some of your biggest successes or milestones from the last year or recent months?

KR: We doubled our revenue in 2012 and have continued to grow steadily since.

What is your favorite customer story?

KR: We hear stories about how we’ve helped families through a difficult time by informing them via advertising. Advertising intelligently and to a targeted audience can be informative and helpful.
Check out Caring.com’s public profile here. You can see traffic, demographic profiles, what types of other content the site’s audience likes and more.

Posted by Maryam Motamedi, Product Marketing Manager, Measure

Vox Media recently announced a plan to launch a new unnamed site, with Ezra Klein from The Washington Post as chief editor and Matthew Yglesias from Slate as a founding contributor. This event follows the recent re-launch of AllThingsD as Re/code as well as what seems like a flurry of activity from publishers that have recently risen to prominence. Is there an audience for another ad-supported digital publisher of first-party content? Our data suggests there is. The share of ad-supported digital publishers comprising the top 250 Quantified sites, or sites directly measured by Quantcast, grew 68% from 2009 to 2013. Not only are there significantly more ad-supported digital publishers today, they’ve grown their audiences nearly 50 percentage points faster than the remainder of the top 250 sites. In this report, we examine the dramatic rise of ad-supported digital publishers.

2013: The year of digital native publishers

The incredible success of ad-supported digital publishers in the past few years has been well reported, from BuzzFeed to Upworthy to Gawker Media. However, in the past year, the trend has intensified, with seemingly more interesting new publishers emerging every month. To understand the data behind this trend, we examined the top 250 Quantified sites from 2009 to 2013 and identified ad-supported digital native sites that primarily publish first-party content, which excluded both pure content aggregators and the digital presences of offline media properties.


We found that while these sites comprised less than a quarter of the top 250 Quantified sites from 2009 to 2011, they grew dramatically to 38% of the top 250 sites in 2013. The average audience for these sites grew significantly as well, increasing 96% over the same time period, compared to a 46% increase for other sites in the top 250. In four years, ad-supported digital native publishers have swelled in number and audience reach.

Growth by category: Niche content finds a large audience

To learn what types of content are driving this growth of ad-supported digital publishers, we first examined their categories.

News was the largest category, including sites dedicated to general news, local news and opinion. Entertainment was the next largest, including sites covering celebrity culture and gossip and those with reviews of television shows, movies, music and games. The remaining large category was Lifestyle, which includes sites focused on food, home, health and men’s and women’s interests.

Next we identified the categories of the ad-supported publishers with the most significant growth from 2009 to 2013.

Entertainment, Lifestyle and News categories grew the most in number of sites, and Sports grew the most in percentage. The number of Entertainment sites grew 75%, led by general entertainment and gossip sites. Notably new in the category since 2009 are sites covering African-American culture, such as Bossip and Global Grind. The number of top Lifestyle sites grew 90%, driven by the addition of women’s interest sites such as Jezebel and health sites such as MindBodyGreen. The largest category, News, saw large growth in general news sites and the addition of sites focused on niche political content. Notable in the Sports category, Rant Sports reinforces the theme of more specialized content—in this case, for specific sports and teams.

The takeaway: digital publishing is healthy—and growing

The digital publishing landscape has evolved rapidly since 2009. Today Facebook and Pinterest are huge sources of traffic, and on the advertising side more dollars are being directed to digital via native ads and performance display. Are these linked to what we observe in the increased success of more specialized content publishers? Whatever the cause, it is clear that more ad-supported content publishers are reaching larger audiences, and by that measure, digital publishing has never been so healthy. We look forward to seeing the trend continue.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions and Samuel Lo, Data Anthropologist