Quality ads beat ad blockers 

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Digital publisher Quartz is achieving CPMs “in the high double digits” by simply rethinking its approach to display ads. Even with ad blockers Quartz says high quality ads keep people watching.

Business for the New York-based, digitally-native publisher is booming too. Quartz is on track for more than US$30m revenue this year, up from US$18.4m in 2015 and recently revealed its advertising approach at the Mumbrella 360 event in Sydney.

Joy Robins, Quartz’s SVP of Global Revenue and Strategy, said the company is seeing high view rates for ads even as ad blockers become more popular globally.

“Most people will not put up with bad ads just because they’re loyal to our brand or because the story is just that good,” she said.

She believes the relegation of digital advertising to an after-thought has led to the ad blocking problem – that digital advertising is consistently one of the last things to be thought about. “And the mobile strategy behind that digital advertising campaign often comes after that.”

Quartz’s philosophy is that the mobile revolution has transformed news delivery and publishers must sink or swim. Data from the company reveals that its readership rates on mobile continue to soar, while its homepage commands only 10% of total traffic even as it hits record levels.

“As publishers and as advertisers, we’ve seen our users begging us to change experiences for so long. Mobile should be the ultimate platform for anyone to reach a user… is there any wonder that they’ve taken to technology to start blocking the experiences?”

Quartz delivers “non-interruptive” advertising free of pop-ups, push down or auto-play, and allows readers to engage with advertising of their own choice. It also does not run standardised ads units and puts a focus on quality creative to capture viewers.

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