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Moat is here to change the currency of digital advertising

In conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, Jonah Goodhart, CEO and Co-Founder, Moat, speaks about the challenges of measuring the digital medium compared to television

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | October 14, 2016

Jonah-Goodhart Jonah Goodhart

It seems that advertisers and publishers will soon get a sneak-peak into the world of currency for digital advertising. While the bodies are already trying and testing tools for measuring content on digital, there is no standardised body which does that.

Moat, a New York-based digital measurement company, is here to help advertisers, broadcasters and publishers understand how someone pays attention to their advertisement. When one sees an ad on Facebook or any other digital platform, the company measures the ad and sees if the consumer is really paying attention.

The viewpoint at Moat is to change the currency of digital advertising. Digital advertising is the fastest growing market in India at the rate of 25 per cent and about 300 million people on smart phones, almost equivalent to the population of the US.

In conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, Jonah Goodhart, CEO and Co-Founder, Moat, tells us how they understand how to transact on advertising in digital, the challenges of measuring the digital medium compared to television, the way forward and much more.

Advertising is the fuel that pays for the vast majority of content that Indian consumer and others consume. “We need to get to a measurement system and currency that makes sense,” he says.

While that sounds great, Goodhart points to the problem. “As a currency for an ad being served on a platform, if I go to Times of India, I’m paying as an advertiser, regardless of whether the ad showed up to you or was at the bottom of the page.”

One of the challenges today is that one is transacting on a currency based on the idea of a served impression, not based on a viewable ad impression. “India needs to get to a foundation where transacting out of a metric that makes sense, and another part where we are transacting where both advertisers and publishers build a sustainable ecosystem,” he added.

Goodhart throws light on the fact that publishers and advertisers are already using viewable ad impressions in the US and are witnessing the way they interact and transact with each other on a different currency.

As the internet grew on the global level, there was an influx of ad impressions while the number of people remained the same in India. The number of ad impressions has gone way high up than the number of people. It is not only about your ad being viewable but also about attention.

Asked whether the impressions are hyped, Goodhart said, “I think what we are selling in India and globally are Impressions that are never seen by human beings. I think we are double counting the Impressions.”

Goodhart says they work with a lot of broadcasters and publishers to bring in a common currency. Speaking about what Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) is doing, Goodhart said that working on a digital currency for BARC makes a lot of sense and it can happen fast enough. Sooner the better, he thinks.

Comparing how measurement works on television and digital, Goodhart indeed feels that measuring digital is different than measuring television, and the BARC model of transparency will work well and benefit both advertisers and publishers. One has to ask better questions and go beyond infographics and beyond the measurement on television.

The good news is that websites are easier to measure because in the BARC world, one has to take a physical device and install it in someone’s home which is much more difficult. In the digital world, you have technology that can be served on web pages.

Citing an example, Goodhart explains that if HUL has its technology, it will attach it to the ad and it will circulate with wherever the ad goes, the same thing goes for publishers. The company can implement it for both the advertiser and the publisher. Ideally if one of them has Moat’s technology, then Moat will be able to track the number of Impressions.

Currently, Moat has data analytics presence in over 100 countries, including India. In terms of physical presence, the organisation is present in three countries – US, UK and Australia.

“We are looking to launch in India potentially soon. We’re in a bunch of conversations here and we’re trying to figure out the right timing. We’re very interested in this market. The growth potential here is amazing,” he adds.

Goodhart eyes the market with over 700 million people using feature phones and who can be tapped. It seems that bandwidth remains a barrier when it comes to implementing the technology in India and the company is already trying to figure ways to deal with the same. Step one is to begin with the smart phones with higher bandwidths and then move on to feature phones, he concludes.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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