In the coming rush to measure ad engagement by visibility, I hope we’ll see a grand reconsideration of how ad units are created to engage readers and complement content, rather than to simply capture attention. Ad design platforms will come to resemble the story-building tools we’re presently building for ourselves. We need to indulge the idea that the quality of ad design should pace that of our content design.
Presuming both sides resist gaming visibility — publishers by disinclining themselves from cramming too many ads into a single viewport’s worth of content, advertisers by not engineering creative to exploit unbillable ad loads — I think publishers of all sizes will be able to see advertising as a frontier for innovation instead of a source of contention.
Matt Dennewitz is vice president of product for Pitchfork.