Engagement is more important than the number of unique visitors

Maxime Moné
Jan 9, 2018 · 2 min read

Audience is an important indicator for press groups.

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In France, audience is the measure used for the ACPM digital ranking (formerly OJD), whether it is for media classification, or for the most widely consumed media brands. It is a monitored indicator, measured and analyzed for publishers in France, but the method used in Europe and internationally are similar.

The evolution unique visitors on a site or an application is an important indicator but does not fully reflect the interest of the readers for one title over another. Conversely, it is important for publishers to know precisely the monetary value of their audience and the degree of commitment of their users at the time, because these indicators are directly related to their sources of profits.

Measuring monetary value of audience

Measuring the monetary value its audience amounts to measuring its ARPU.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is the average revenue generated by a reader. It is a combination of the revenues generated by advertising (which will depend on the number of pages per session and user, the remuneration of the different ad formats, the RPM by categories, …) and direct revenues (unit purchases, subscriptions, e-commerce, …) that will be generated by the publisher.

To fully understand, an example to calculate revenue generated by advertising is shown in the graph below. Monthly revenue per user generated by advertising will depend on the number of page views per content category and the RPM (revenue per mile) by category.

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It is therefore immediately understood that ARPU is proportional to readers engagement. With the same content distribution within category for a reader, but 400 page views per month (instead of 200), an annual advertising revenue of $170.64 is obtained.

Direct revenues will depend on publishers’ strategy, but can be for example:

  • Subscription (main title, secondary, …)

With these elements, and once the ARPU is calculated, it is important to analyze these figures by audience segment. The objective is to have an accurate view of the relationship between income and engagement level.

Analyze monetary value of audience

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