Why Marketers Should Pay Attention To Attention Minutes

on Native 101, The Future of Advertising

The following post is written by Sharethrough partner Nudge Analytics

Not all clicks are created equal.

Have you ever scrolled through your social feeds over breakfast and clicked a few links without actually reading the content?

Or, say you’ve been on your desktop and opened a million tabs, planning on reading the content later, only to close them at the end of the day unread.

Chances are you have, which is a major problem for every player in the native ad space trying to draw real meaning and insight out of engagement metrics.

So what’s the solution here?


Attention Minutes

Attention minutes means tracking every second a person is actively consuming your content, discounting the empty clicks where someone barely even sets their eyes on a page.

So, How Does It Help Me?

The attention minutes metric accurately reflects how people are consuming content, and helps marketers better understand what content that is driving attention, and where to improve.

Let’s say a user clicks on your article, reads it for three minutes and hits the back button - with attention minutes, this time on page counts, where with older metrics it would be counted as a bounce. Clicks where someone leaves a page open without reading it are discounted.

Marketers can truly understand how people consume their content, and learn how good of a job they’re really doing. It enables them to be more precise in their work in the process, able to see if people are leaving their content after 30 seconds or 30 minutes.


Pro Tip: Overlay Attention Minutes With Other Data Sources

Marketers can overlay Attention Minutes with other data sources, giving them more granular insights into things such as:

Traffic Sources

By looking at Attention Minutes by traffic source (i.e. MailChimp, Facebook or Sharethrough), you will quickly learn which traffic sources are delivering the highest quality traffic, so you can adjust your budget to back the winning horse.

Interesting fact: according to Nudge’s analytics platform, Sharethrough drove 33% more Attention Minutes on average than Facebook during Q1.


By overlaying Scroll Data and Attention Minutes, you can see what the most engaging parts of your content are [i.e. a specific part of your video, infographic, list, etc].

Content & Device Types

By looking at Attention Minutes by content and device type: marketers can see where people are spending the most time, which pieces of content are the most engaging, which device type is performing the best and if there’s something causing people to leave their content. Marketers can compare written content with video content, so they can what format is best holding their audience’s engagement.


Using attention minutes as a metric to test how engaging your headlines are means that marketers can optimize their distribution based on their strongest headlines, ensuring they minimize spend on wasteful clicks and focus on quality.

A tip here is to break out each ad creative by attention, native bounce and reach. This allows advertisers to truly understand the value of each headline, where they need to optimize and where to adjust their spend.


So, Who Benefits From Using Attention Minutes?

Advertisers want to be able to accurately measure their audience’s time and engagement with their content. Using false proxies and out of date metrics will only work against them. Advertisers need to be able to assess the quality and accuracy of their traffic in order to maximize the time and attention from their audience: Attention Minutes helps with just that.

For publishers, attention minutes help value their advertising based on the accumulated attention of their audience. By knowing what works/doesn’t work, it helps form guidelines for creating future premium content, which also means that they can charge more for ads.

By using attention minutes, it means publishers, advertisers, and audiences all win big.


For the latest native research and discussion, visit Nudge.