Many a news operation has fallen in love with Chartbeat, the web-analytics software that gives reporters and editors a real-time look into which parts of their websites readers are visiting. Now Chartbeat has begun mining that same publisher data to help digital-media salespeople sell ads on parts of their websites historically dismissed as advertising wastelands.
In December, Chartbeat began offering a handful of publisher sales teams a beta version of a new dashboard that displays the amount of engaged time website visitors are spending in front of certain ad-unit placements and certain sections of the site. By arming sales teams with this information, Chartbeat believes it can help them make a case to brand advertisers that certain parts of webpages are more valuable than originally assumed. (Direct-response advertisers already use audience buying to find the best impressions to buy, often no matter page placement.)
"The lesson is that the place where readers are spending their time is not where we traditionally assumed," said Alex Carusillo, a product manager at Chartbeat.
In conversations with editorial departments, Chartbeat kept hearing that a big challenge for them is striking a balance between creating compelling, high-end work while at the same time churning out as many posts as possible to increase page views because most ads are sold on an impression basis.