Anybody sick of hearing about engagement yet? I hope not, because just as I talked about in a fair bit of detail in Audience Evolution, and in a number of posts on this blog, engagement has essentially emerged as the new currency in the audience marketplace. The latest proof — SocialVibe, the firm that has developed “engagement ad units” used on a number of web sites and Facebook apps, recently announced that they raised $20 million in a new round of funding.
The key characteristic of the SocialVibe ad units is that they are designed to compel audiences to interact with them in some way. For instance, “an ad unit used by Visa… includes videos of Visa-sponsored athletes and asks viewers to name three people who have inspired them to reach their own goals.”
In such developments, we see how cost-per-action pricing models are moving beyond simple click-throughs, and how advertisers are utilizing the web’s interactivity to generate responses from audiences other than click-throughs or product purchases. Other types of behaviors clearly have value in this emerging audience marketplace. In fact, it seems like just about any type of behavior has value in today’s audience marketplace.