PLAYGROUND XYZ (winner of a 2016 B&T Award for best martech firm), which uses its proprietary platform to author new and innovative types of mobile canvasses, has launched a ground-breaking product that positively shifts the value exchange between advertisers, publishers and readers.
The product, called PlayPass, aims to create a new content access and advertising experience based on a form of ‘micro transaction’ – where a publisher would usually apply gated paid access via a paywall, they would instead grant the reader access to an article for free, thanks to an advertiser. Playground partnered with publisher Crikey and media agency Vizeum for the pilot.
Rob Hall, CEO of Playground said: “We’re operating in a digital publishing ecosystem that is largely two tiered – Advertising and Paywalls. In a practical sense, Advertising pays for most of the free content on the internet but of course the average reader doesn’t appreciate this fact and ads can even be part of the problem in their minds. On the flip side, when the content is highly premium (and costs the publisher more to produce) sometimes the ad revenue doesn’t generate the return needed and here Paywalls have come to exist as a mechanism to extract more value out of the reader. Unfortunately, not all readers are ready or able to subscribe”.
“PlayPass is a third tier of monetisation based on the premise that if the right commercial conditions are met, advertisers could pay to unlock some premium content, giving the publishers a boost in revenue while supporting their subscription models and at the same time driving brand value for the advertiser by making them the hero”.
Readers see the PlayPass experience in place of the usual subscription message and simply tap the key to instantly unlock the article – a frictionless experience. The trial, which finished recently, achieved a 90 per cent viewability score, 60 per cent interaction rate and a phenomenal 323 per cent increase in brand recall.
Olivia McDonnell, commercial strategy director at Private Media, the publisher of Crikey said: “Crikey is Australia’s best known independent news site in Australia. Now more than ever, working with new technology and models that support premium journalism is vital. We were pleased to work in partnership with Playground and Vizeum to deliver an innovative approach with compelling results.”
Mark Titley, digital director at Vizeum said: “This really is a step forward in the advertising world with genuine mutual benefit to the consumer, publisher and advertiser. The idea of putting our brands front and centre as the ones driving this value is excellent and the fact we can now transact this like we would any digital media buy is great. I look forward to using it in future campaigns”
Adds Hall: There’s still lots to do but this is an exceptional first step in exploring new models that can keep premium journalism healthy while delivering value for not only the advertiser but the reader too.”