Washington Post Research Results in “Superview” Ad Space

If you surf the Internet with any frequency, you tend to know exactly where, on any given page, to find what you’re looking for.  Often that means rapidly scrolling past a wealth of material – and ads.  The Washington Post, troubled by the logic that “above-the-fold” ad space is inherently more valuable, conducted a study to measure user behaviors on a number of page types, finding that in some scenarios, “below-the-fold” ads actually work better than their counterparts higher on the page.  This research led to the creation of a “Superview” unit that follows a user’s viewing window for the first seven seconds they are on a page, before floating back to the top.  This innovation has resulted in viewability increases from 9 percent to 19 percent, with some vendors seeing even greater leaps.  This evaluation of web advertising offers an opening to discuss the future of premium ad space online, and could drastically alter how we think about web advertising.