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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - April 2019

Dwell time, watch time, and the new world of audience analytics

The most important analytics trend that we see with publishers today is the value of time. Publishers have realized that if we want to get people to pay us, the single most important factor is to get people to spend a real amount of time with us. As a result, instead of measuring our analytics in terms of activity, we now see more publishers measure time.

So, in this 27-page article, we are going to take a much closer look at this. How should you, as a publisher, think about this? What should you really measure? What are the patterns? And what kind of things do we see in the market today?

Please note: In this article, I will cover a lot of technical aspects of measuring time, but I will not include any coding examples. Instead, the focus here is on explaining the complexities and the strategies.

Many ways to define time

The first big challenge we come across is that there are so many ways we can measure and define time, and they are all useful for different things.

There is also the problem that different people define time-metrics using different words, even if they are actually talking about the same thing. It's all very confusing. And if you read articles about this online, or worse, go to media conferences, you will come home with all these conflicting definitions of time.

I'm going to clarify all that, and give you a model to help you think about this. And then the next time you hear someone talk about time, you can compare it to this model to better understand what they are talking about.

So let's define time.

There are many different ways that we can focus on this. We can simply measure time as the duration of time passing, but we can also measure it in relation to activity.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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