Home page takeover – guaranteed or not?


gazette home page takeover

image from The Gazette media kit

I was recently asked if IAB Canada had any standard terms for such placements and we do not. This is up to individual publishers to establish how they package their offer.

The question arose because these are usually sold with no guarantee of delivering a certain number of impressions, however an estimate is usually given and arguments arise when the achievement is below that estimate. Sometimes a thank you works its way to the publisher if they over deliver.

The problem

The problem with home page takeovers is that they are fixed to a particular time, not impressions, and as such cannot guarantee any number of impressions as the website is dependent on its users to be reliable in their behavior so as to deliver what the client expects. For some sites, daily traffic, while being different on a weekday and on weekends, is relatively stable throughout the year. For other sites, such as news websites, that traffic is on one hand seasonal to some extent, and on another hand very fickle – dependent on the gravity of breaking news to drive traffic to the site.

Some publishers and networks are particularly clear with their terms and conditions surrounding this while most others aren’t so much.

The problem compounds when looking at this from the buyer’s perspective. It is not that they are out to create problems for publishers, but that they have different objectives, different KPIs and different ideas about what has value.

A solution

My recommended solution is actually two-fold. You might find it uselessly complicated but it also is designed to address the buyer’s concerns before they arise and to serve their objectives on their terms, while respecting the seller’s principles.

First off, I’d offer two options:

1- Do you want a fixed 24 hour period?

In this case you do not obtain a guaranteed number of impressions. Let’s say the average daily impression count is 1,000,000, the home page takeover would be costed on this number of impressions at a particular CPM rate and rounded to a flat fee. The client would obtain give or take a little (maybe as much at 25%) one million impressions; or

2- Do you want to obtain on permanence the number of impressions the average 24 hour period generates? (which in our scenario is 1 million)

In this case you would obtain 1 million impressions permanently on the website from the start time at 12:01 am and end whenever that target is hit. That could be at midnight 24 hours later, 20 hours later (or 8pm on the same day) on a higher traffic day or 28 hours later (or 4 am the next day). In this case, I would make the CPM rate slightly higher for the reasons that they know exactly what they’ll get – it’s guaranteed – as opposed to option 1- where they are taking a risk.

It all depends on what’s most important for the client – it might be the specific date (24 hour period) or a particular volume of visibility.

A bit more complicated

I’d further complicate this by making seasonal or quarterly traffic estimates for clients.

Both options coupled with seasonal traffic estimates gives the client more confidence that they are not being “had” which is a constant doubt when buying something that is not necessarily guaranteed. It is more fare for all.

What do you think of this solution? Do you treat or view such deals differently? Leave a comment below.

Or maybe you’d like to pick my brain about other situations? Feel free to contact me through my contact page (LINK) it’s what I do.

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