AAM Launches New Tools for Combating Ad Blocking, Fake Traffic
Alliance for Audited Media says the new offerings address modern challenges and go "well beyond a static audit report."
Updated: 3/11/16 at 11:16 am.
As the media industry continues to accelerate its transition from print to digital, publishers are met with increasing demand to measure brand performance across multiple platforms while accurately accounting for emerging obstacles like ad blocking and fake traffic.
The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), the 100 year-old nonprofit devoted to independently measuring the reach of magazine and newspaper circulation, subscriptions, newsstand sales, and, more recently, digital editions, announced today the launch of three new offerings designed to help meet the modern needs of publishers—as well as their advertisers.
Brand View, a platform meant to allow publishers to showcase cross-channel audience metrics through a customizable template that incorporates graphics and video, will be available to AAM clients later this spring.
Site Certifier is the AAM's answer to bot-generated or fake traffic—that is, automated page views generated by software programs as opposed to actual people. Estimated to cost the publishing industry billions each year, invalid traffic can be "filtered out" of website and app metrics collected by Site Certifier by applying predictive modeling and machine learning, an AAM spokesperson tells Folio:. That data is then cross-referenced against data collected by Adobe and Google.
Finally, AAM's Ad Block Gauge, available now, apparently has the ability to detect ad blocking activity on client websites through the use of a custom tag that can be embedded into websites and integrated with Site Certifier. Publishers are then given access to a dashboard that reports statistics such as the percentage of page impressions blocked, device type, operating system, and even geolocation.
There is little doubt that ad blocking is on the rise. An August report from PageFair and Adobe suggested that the number of average monthly software users who block ads jumped 48 percent in 2015, and a more recent study from Retale indicated that 63 percent of millennials in the U.S. currently use ad blockers. Perhaps even more concerning to publishers is the fact that one-in-five of those millennials is now blocking ads on his or her mobile device, too.
In an address to the Oxford Media Convention just last week, UK culture secretary John Whittingdale ripped the practice of ad blocking companies offering to whitelist certain publishers in exchange for a fee, comparing it to "a modern-day protection racket."
As the practice becomes more widespread (and costly), an increasing number of publishers are attempting to fight ad blocking on their own terms, appealing to audiences to disable the software by explaining that even free content needs to be paid for somehow, a tactic echoed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Ad Blocking Primer, released earlier this week.
“Because these brands are affiliated with AAM, advertisers know they deliver a premium audience and stand for accountability and transparency," said AAM CEO, Tom Drouillard, in a statement. "We’ve developed a new suite of products to help publishers get that message out in a dynamic way that goes well beyond a static audit report."