The Attention Gap: Where Impressions Fall Short

Posted Jan 12, 2018

It’s no secret or surprise that people multitask while watching television, whether they are using their mobile devices or chatting with others in the room. Countless studies have shown as much.

Even television programming that drives unparalleled viewership and commands astronomical commercial rates is not immune from viewership distractions.

The real question is what affect this multitasking has on meaningful audience attention. According to a recent digital video trends report released by eMarketer, the attention gap is clear.

Simply put, only 62% of respondents pay full attention to traditional television programming when there are others around. When commercials hit, however, that number drops to 34%.

The story for OTT based viewing isn’t much better, with focused attention dropping from 70% to 43% when commercials run.
It is no surprise then that so many advertisers are enamoured by interactive ad formats. After all, someone who engages with an ad while it is playing most assuredly paid attention to it.

Perhaps this is why 71% of top mobile marketers recently surveyed reported that playable ads are effective: when users play with an ad experience, the attention gap disappears. They’re not only actively paying attention, but they are fully engaged.

Whether or not this engagement leads to the install or purchase the advertiser is looking for — though the odds are assuredly more in their favor relative to other ad experiences — there’s another inherent benefit of interactive ads: the level of engagement can be measured.

Each tap, tilt, swipe, and shake is counted, leaving no question as to whether the users who saw the ad were actually paying attention. Instead of wondering what the attention gap of their impressions are, advertisers who utilize interactive ad units can instead focus on developing creatives that truly engage and measure them with metrics that actually matter.

Join the Conversation
What audience engagement and attention metrics do you look for, and how do you combat the attention gap with engaging ad creatives? Tweet your thoughts to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.



AdColonist, poet, and nerd, Barbie keeps both the advertiser and publisher in mind in her role as the Director of Marketing. To be featured in one one of her recurring features or participate in an upcoming industry study, simply email

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