Viewability of ads on the Washington Post has increased by 100% compared to the industry average since every ad loads in under two seconds, according to the Media Rating Council. On mobile devices, the increase in viewability of ads on the Post from using Zeus is a robust 40%. There has been an increase of 32% in click-through rates for Zeus-enabled ads on the Post. No wonder, Zeus is the X-factor for the Washington Post which smartly utilized this amazing tool to get its ads to load faster.
It was in September last year, that the Post began testing its Zeus application for speeding up load time and cutting down data-heavy ads on mobile. The initial results were so successful that Zeus was chosen to power all the ads of the Post on desktop, mobile and apps as it could now claim that the ads will load in two seconds or less. Zeus addresses industry problems like viewability, fraud and latency using internal resources instead of outsourcing the tasks to vendors. RED (Research Experimentation and Development) is a 10-person group that develops ad-tech for the Post and Zeus is a part of this group.
Jarrod Dicker, head of ad product and technology at The Washington Post, said, “The web is slow, there’s a lot of latency that comes to how things load across desktop and mobile and no one wants to seem to fix it. The biggest complaint all along has been advertising—internally, a lot of newsrooms will blame the advertising part of the business and say, ‘Ads are slow, java script is slow’ and so forth.” However, Zeus will know how fast a visitor is scrolling and so will load ads only when they’re on the verge of appearing on the screen. It won’t load the ad if the visitor scrolls too fast. “We’re only delivering these things based on how the user is experiencing our site,” explained Dicker. Zeus usually shows an ad that doesn’t gobble up data from the visitor’s phone as it is able to detect ads that are too heavy to load.