Episode 03: Long Live Long-form

“So, our attention span isn’t getting killed?”

Andrew and Sachin take a look at engaged time data that shows we have a greater attention span for news content than what traditional bounce rate suggests. If someone visits one page on a website and bounces, they didn’t necessarily have a bad experience—in fact, they probably had a good one. In addition to rethinking “good” vs. “bad” site visits, they discuss recent media mergers and the FCC and go +1/-1 on “podfasting,” pivoting to video, and Google AMP.

Industry news that caught our attention:

1:24 – FCC, media consolidation, and net neutrality.

4:44 – Implications of recent funding and acquisition announcements, including Axios, Time Inc. and Meredith, and Mashable.

The data that held our attention:

7:53 – Why assessing site visits using bounce rate (leaving a site after one click) makes sense for some industries but doesn’t capture how we consume media content.

“I’ll find an article on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll go to that article and I’ll read the entire thing. And I’ll be like, ‘That was an amazing piece of content.’ And I might not click on something else, but I definitely got value out of reading that piece of content.”

— Sachin Kamdar

10:25 – Rethinking “good” and “bad” site visits in terms of engaged time is a better alternative to bounce rate.

“In media, I think that the key to separating ‘good’ and ‘bad’ visits is time.”

— Andrew Montalenti

13:21 – Key takeaways from analyzing engagement rates for billions of sessions of reading news articles.

“The range of time we found was 1 – 7 minutes. That’s really kind of the sweet spot of standard web-browser based online reading activity with text and video content that we were seeing online.”

— Andrew Montalenti

15:55 – What does this mean for the industry? Media needs to start understanding audiences in terms of time. Long-form content has an audience.

“There’s plenty of audience appetite for scrolling deeply into content.”

— Andrew Montalenti

+1 or -1? Quick takes:

18:55 – Listening to podcasts super fast, aka “podfasting.”

21:15 – The “pivot” to video.

25:45 – Google AMP.

Show notes:

This episode was recorded on December 6, 2017.