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Premium Content: That Will Get Your Attention!

4 min read

Niamh Daly, Programmatic Executive

by Niamh Daly, Programmatic Executive

Core Investment

Advertising on premium sites is three times as effective at capturing user attention, as it is on those of non-premium publishers according to a recent study by the IAB UK that used eye-tracking to explore the impact of online ads.

According to the study, the volume of click bait and fake news over the last number of years has made consumers savvier about where they go for information online and sources they trust. The study also showed how consumers are more engaged and receptive to advertising when it is presented in higher quality environments.

Three types of site were examined as part of the study;

1. Task Sites – e.g., Ticketmaster

2. Content Sites – e.g. Buzzfeed,

3. Premium Content sites – e.g. Independent, RTE, Guardian

Results showed advertising on premium content sites resulted in three times the user attention.

There are several factors which influence the attention given to an ad;

1. Quality Environment is vital – context is key

Readers are more likely to engage and read quality content and pay attention to surrounding ads.

2. Location

Ads which are more in line with the contents of the page receive more attention than ads that sit to the side. When focused on the surrounding context readers are more likely to pay attention to the ad.

3. Ad Clutter

Bombarding customers with ads is not good practice and damages trust in advertising. Having more than two or three ads visible on a single screen creates a cluttered look and causes attention levels on the ads to drop. Improvements in this area will enhance the effectiveness of the ads and create a better and more trusting relationship with consumers.

4. Quality Targeting

Relevant ads are more likely to be noticed when used well and in moderation. Using relevant data to do this captures the audience’s attention and improves brand recall.

5. Fit for Purpose

Creative should be tailored for the right formats to garner attention. Investing time in tailored creative and considering different channels makes a significant difference on how the ad is noticed.


What are Core doing to ensure we advertise on premium content?

At the start of 2019 the number of display partners used by the programmatic team was reduced to 80 with no effect on the delivery or performance of campaigns. There is a whitelist of max 180 sites/apps applied to all Core clients.

Using tailored Private Marketplace Deals (PMPs), Programmatic Guaranteed (PG) and Open Exchange the outcome is 80% of display ads run on premium content with an aim of 75%+ viewability.

Our display spend is focused on deals with predominantly local publishers e.g. Journal Group, Maximum,, RTE and some global publishers with local offices e.g. DMG, BBC & Yahoo.

A similar approach is used for VOD in Core – the focus is on buying non-skip premium inventory with high viewability and completion rates across 10 VOD partners with as much as possible for any given month on Broadcast players.


From a Core point of view, premium content is more valuable to advertisers because it is of higher quality, more brand safe, and there are better content-to-ad ratios and we welcome the IAB study findings on this.

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