As if there weren’t enough distractions on the Web, captchas have long caused annoyance for both Internet consumers and content creators. Meredith Corp. found an alternative for weeding out bots and quantifying consumer interaction with Solve Media, a performance-based brand advertising business.
Solve’s product portfolio includes pre-roll type-in advertising, a model that has readers key in a simple ad message to access content, polls, etc. Meredith’s SVP of digital media Andy Wilson discusses why the publisher began to work with Solve almost two years ago, “We were having problems with spam getting through in a couple of our voting spaces, and we started having to use the captcha; the solution just wasn’t working. Our audience was getting very frustrated, so we decided to give Solve a try.”
Though Meredith was concerned there would be a negative audience reaction to the new technology, Wilson says the changes were welcomed by consumers. “It solved our problem, but also gave a better consumer experience. And with that, our engagement rates went up. We ended up with more votes and with more people participating in the program. We also started a new advertising revenue stream,” says Wilson.
Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, says products are sold on a cost per engagement basis. He also says his company is on the premium side of the ad business, “We know that premium advertising is immersive, emotive on the brand side, that delivers the kind of experiences that brands really want, is advertising that we can all really get premium prices on. Premium prices preserve great journalism. Whereas remnant prices, we know what that leads us to.”
Wilson further explains Solve’s revenue share model, “So on our site, there will be an advertising message that plays, either in a video or static ad impression, with an slogan and that will be what the user is required to type in to bypass or prove that they are not a computer. So everyone of those you can sell them by Solve, which has been done in the past; or you can sell them on a CPM basis.”
The extra dollars are reinforced by audience engagement. According to Wilson, Meredith receives five to seven million “type-ins” on a monthly basis.