Chartbeat Raises $15.5 Million To Save Publishers From The “Viewpocalypse”

ChartBeat today said it raised $15.5 million in its latest round of funding — and that money is going toward helping publishers improve their advertising businesses.

Recently the Interactive Advertising Bureau called for ads to be considered “viewable” if 50% of the ad is shown for at least one second — a new standard that has caused many sites to lose inventory, CEO Tony Haile said. As part of the new funding, the company is coming out with two new tools geared toward improving publishers’ ad revenue with more dynamic advertising placement.

The first tool is one that determines whether someone is engaging in a page — such as scrolling or moving around on the page. Those signals mean the person is paying to the page, which means they are also engaging with the ad. If the ad has been viewed on the page for a set period of time, it will automatically swap the ad out for another one, increasing the amount of inventory publishers can serve on pages.

“It helps advertisers because they know their ads are getting seen for a significant amount of time, and it helps us to move away from this click page load and gets us much more to an attention world,” Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile said. “The sites that do well are the engaging sites that can capture attention. The more attention we capture, the more ads we can serve, that’s a good thing for the world to get to.”

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ChartBeat is also releasing a headline optimization tool that lets publishers test which headlines will perform best, without encouraging eye-catching headlines that don’t necessarily deliver on the promise of the headline (often referred to as “clickbait”). The tool automatically assigns more traffic to headlines to ones that are more likely to perform better, which would in theory drive better engagement and thus more engagement with ads — making publishers more money.

“Now there’s actually a financial incentive not just to send traffic to the most pages, but also send traffic to the pages where people engage the most,” Haile said. “By optimizing for greater than 15 seconds of engagement on a page, you can double the amount of viewability you’re able to get. That’s something within editorial’s control. It’s not enough to be thinking about clicks any more, you have to be thinking about engagement.”

The raise today doubles the amount of money Chartbeat has raised total, bringing it to $31 million.