Tablets offer publishers opportunity to monetise Web traffic


Web browsing is undergoing something of a revolution, one that is being fueled by the seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for tablets.

According to analyst GfK, tablets accounted for 60% of all computing devices sold in the UK during the second quarter of 2013 (around 1.5 million devices), and 45.5% of the total value (approximately £350 million). Tablet sales were up 77.5% year-on-year by volume and 24.9% by value, as falling prices attracted more buyers.

Publishers have responded to this trend by creating tablet app editions of their newspapers and magazines that consumers can read at home, in the office, or somewhere between the two.

So far, so good, but what about those publishers’ Web properties? Not the tablet version of the magazine, but the magazine’s Web site, when accessed via a tablet, as opposed to a PC?

John Byrne, founder of UK startup Tablet Media, believes this market is being under-served, and has set out to do something about it.

Tablet Media delivers rich media advertisements to consumers browsing Web sites on tablets. Byrne launched his company when he realised that no such solution currently existed.

“It seems clear to me that the tablet is going to become the dominant device in the home, yet despite this, there is no standalone tablet network solution in the UK,” he says. “I just couldn’t see how that could be. Eighty percent of tablet use is in the home, people visiting Web sites, browsing in the same way they would once have done on a laptop, so there is an opportunity to advertise to them.

“Twelve percent of Web site views in the home are on tablets, and within three years, this will be 25%,” Byrne continued. “There is a great opportunity for publishers to monetise this traffic so much better than they currently do.”

When a consumer arrives at a site in the Tablet Media network, rather than seeing an ad served by a mobile ad network, she will be served a rich media ad that makes more intelligent use of the tablet medium.

“Publishers are not monetising their inventory as they should,” says Byrne. “Typically, when the site detects access from a tablet, the ad call will go to the mobile network that monetises mobile impressions, or to a third-party exchange or SSP where they will achieve a similar payout to desktop, which is much lower than on our network.”

Byrne hopes to sign up around 120 titles across 30 or so publishers, mainly magazine publishers. The firm has partnered with Celtra for ad serving and Theorem for creative. Advertisers will be able to target by context and demographic across the publisher distribution.

Byrne says the company is targeting business-to-consumer brand advertisers, as opposed to apps: “It’s all up the funnel stuff, entertainment, gaming, automotive.”

Tablet Media will offer advertisers access to around 6 million unique visitors and 50 million impressions per month. The first campaigns are due to go live this month. Byrne describes the ideas as “a no-brainer.”

Given the rate at which tablets are flying off the shelves, it’s hard to disagree.

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