Newsworks tablet study finds ad response up to 40 times higher than online

Response to advertising in tablet editions of newspapers is up to 40 times higher than that tracked online, according to the industry's first study commissioned by Newsworks.

Newsworks' Vanessa Clifford presenting the industry's first Tablet Project
Newsworks' Vanessa Clifford presenting the industry's first Tablet Project

The marketing body for newsbrands has published the results of its first Tablet Project today and in the process, created some key benchmarks and a new metric for tablet advertising.

The Tablet Project cites what it calls "the average tap rate (interaction)" with a tablet ad up 0.79%, up to 40 times greater than the average online display click-through rate – depending on sector.

Consumers were also found to spend an average of seven seconds with tablet ads – far higher than the fractions of a second tracked online.

With tablet ownership rising to almost 18 million in the UK, such initial benchmarks have been increasingly requested by publishers and agencies alike.

Speaking to more than 70 agency press planners and buyers, Vanessa Clifford, deputy chief executive at Newsworks, said: "Tablets have a growing and engaged audience, particularly across newsbrands.

"However, there has been a lack of data and understanding around tablet advertising – what makes an ad successful, what metrics should brands expect, what kind of ad types and language should we be using?

"These results will offer the advertising community first-stage industry norms, with some standard metrics, creative learnings and a common language for the first time."
Tablet owners are most likely to be 35 to 44 years old (47%), a core media audience. Newsbrands now have a weekly reach of more than 1.5 million via tablets.

The study tracked 20 campaigns across five key sectors – motors, retail and travel, finance, tech and entertainment – between October and December 2013. Participants included Virgin Holidays, Cancer Research UK, Sony, Nationwide, Audi and YouView, among others.

For each sector there are distinct variations in key metrics, which will enable planners to shape expectations and judge campaign delivery for clients.

Individual sector tap rates were found to be: motors 0.61%, average dwell time of 6.9 seconds; finance 0.87%, average dwell time of 5.9 seconds; retail and travel 1.04%, average dwell time of 6.1 seconds; tech 0.84%, average dwell time of 6.8 seconds; entertainment 0.57%, average dwell time of 10.1 seconds.

The ads were grouped into three core creative types – text link, video and interactive.

The results show that each type has a different role to play – text links drive above average tap rates; video provides a powerful combination of tap rate and dwell time, and interactive ads hold attention with considerably higher dwell time.

According to the study, text links average tap rate was 0.82% with an average dwell time of 5.6 seconds. Video had an average tap rate of 1.06%; average dwell time of 7.1 seconds. Interactive had an average tap rate of 0.42% and an average dwell time of 9.0 seconds.
Initial reaction from agencies has been broadly positive. Tara Mendelsohn, investment associate director at OMD, said the study had "propelled the tablet agenda to the forefront" and claimed: "It will help us prove the value that tablets add to media plans using industry agreed insights, norms and benchmarks that will help shape our client conversations moving forward."

Jo Blake, head of outdoor, newsbrands and radio at Havas Media, said: "It’s sometimes difficult to sell in new things to clients – will it work, is it cost efficient, creative barriers and so on – which is why Newsworks’ Tablet Project was an excellent idea.

"The results will not only help us sell tablet formats to clients, but the learnings also show the best way to use the medium creatively – that was why we wanted to be involved in the project."