Times Higher Education Doubles Their Ad Inventory’s Viewability With Mile’s Smart Ad Refresh

Rohan Sharma
July 8, 2024

Times Higher Education uses Mile’s cutting-edge tech to generate extra revenue from their Programmatic and Direct campaigns. The company has been witnessing an over 25% revenue uplift.

Times Higher Education (THE) is a leading source of data and insights on higher education. It leverages information from over 7,000 institutions across 171 countries to help universities make data-driven decisions. THE offers rankings, consultancy, and strategic guidance to help universities excel and foster global collaboration.

The Challenge

Times Higher Education (THE) was struggling with a multitude of challenges. The most concerning was the downtrend in its ad performance metrics like CTR, CPM, and RPM. Upon analyzing, we realized their traditional ad refresh methods resulted in intrusive, poorly timed ads that disrupted user experience. This not only deterred readers but also hurt advertiser interest due to poor ad performance. 

The core issue? Legacy ad refresh technologies that often rely on triggers like time or custom events to refresh ad slots and display new ads based on preset criteria. These triggers often ignore user engagement and viewability and lead to refreshes that not only disrupt user attention but also impact ad performance.  

Recognizing these challenges, THE needed a solution that would align better with their goals of enhancing user engagement without compromising on ad revenue. The objective was to implement a more sophisticated ad management strategy that could boost profitability while preserving the quality of the user experience.

The Solution

Times Higher Education (THE) recognized the need to optimize its ad revenue without messing up the UX or page speed. In 2021, they partnered with Mile to refine their complete ad-management approach. 

First impressions being the initial focus, we implemented the best strategies and solutions along with premium demand that helped THE reach its revenue goal. Once the ad stack shaped up, we expanded our efforts to incorporate our Smart Ad Refresh technology. This helped us significantly increase the value and effectiveness of their ad placements. 

Mile’s Smart Ad Refresh leverages real-time data and sophisticated algorithms to optimize ad refresh points based on user interaction and engagement levels. This approach ensures that ads are 100% viewable and initiated by user actions, which significantly increases their effectiveness and the value they deliver to advertisers.

The Impact

Building on a strong foundation of THE’s initial ad impressions (FI), Smart Ad Refresh has delivered significant value by generating a substantial number of additional ad opportunities. Be it programmatic or direct ad campaigns, THE has been able to meet and exceed its revenue goals with the best of Mile solutions. 

Over the past three years, Mile created a new ad inventory for THE with Smart Ad Refresh. The viewability of this new inventory was 85%, which is double the 42% viewability of THE’s existing inventory. This significantly boosted the number of impressions for their direct campaigns, resulting in higher engagement and higher ad revenue.

This increase in viewability also led to an improvement in the blended viewability of their overall ad inventory.

These combined upsides contributed to over ~10% increase in THE’s overall direct campaign ad revenue in the past three years.

Smart Ad Refresh also generated over ~25% incremental revenue in programmatic campaigns for THE. The better-timed ads invited higher engagement from users, which attracted higher interest from advertisers, resulting in higher ad revenue for THE.

Times Higher Education (THE) came to us with a mission: find a way to keep their content top-notch while securing a sustainable revenue stream. By implementing Smart Ad Refresh, Times Higher Education has now been averaging a 25-30% uplift in revenue yearly. 

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