Obozrevatel's Case Study

Is it possible to increase revenue from a website by 100% in less than a year by reducing the number of ads?

Research problem

It's no secret that readers don't like advertising, and the more ads on a website, the lower the traffic and interaction with the content drops. However, news media make money on these same ads simultaneously! 

So how do you solve this dilemma and ensure fewer ads on your website but a higher income from it? Let’s see what can be done together. 

Target audience

This case will be interesting for the news media and any website owners who monetize their websites with advertising. Besides, our technology for increasing publishers' revenue might interest marketers and content creation experts. 

About the Client 

Our client is one of the most significant news websites in Ukraine, Obozrevatel.com. Some general information about it: 

  • The website was created in 2001.
  • More than 40 million users consume Obozrevatel content every month.  
  • In the rating of Ukrainian news websites, Obozrevatel.com takes 6th place. 

In 2020 all publishers of the world were struggling with covid and losing income because of all kinds of difficulties. At that time, Obozrevatel.com had another problem – the resignation of the technical director. The whole team understood that it was necessary to monetize websites in a new way, but Western technologies had not yet been introduced in the Ukrainian market. 

In 2021, Obozrevatel.com started cooperating with Notsy BV, now Membrana Media. Our team analyzed all the resources on the website and gave the company’s director a guarantee that the figures will be increased by 40% in a few months. It is worth mentioning that this bold statement was not received without skepticism because when you have a tremendous website and have tried all methods to increase its income, you can not easily believe in such promises. 

The final goals for the next year of work were: 

  • Determining the most effective way to increase website revenue. 
  • Increasing key indicators by at least 40%. 
  • Adding a video player to create a new source of income.
  • Decreasing the number of banner ads on the website and changing its format to increase its effectiveness. 

Workflow

Membrana Media team starts every project by working on several website pages and A/B testing. 

Step 1.  We removed ad units on them that had visibility and CTR problems. Then, we experimented and realized that the best result was obtained not by two small blocks but by a single giant block, 336x280. 

Step 2.  Change the ad units that did not fit the website’s style. We wanted each ad to bring more results, so we replaced the block 580x400 with 336x280, reducing the number of advertisements for readers visually. 

With the first results, we began to increase the number of pages of the website to scale them. 

Step 3. Select the demand sources that would generate the most revenue. We stopped working with resellers and chose only those sources that performed well in the local market. 

As a result, after three months of cooperation, we achieved the promised 40% for all website metrics. However, our team did not stop there because the resources of Obozrevatel allowed us to achieve much more significant results. 

The final stage of work with ad units began. Again, we tested many hypotheses, but in the end, only these gave excellent results: 

  1. Loading blocks by visibility and selecting the optimal visibility time for ad units.
  2. Using Infinite Scroll technology.
  3. Using new advertising formats and replacing some banners with native video content with integrated in-stream advertising.
  4. Connecting the demand for in-stream after a series of experiments with price rules, setting new price thresholds for the audience of sites.

After these changes were applied to the entire website in May 2021, the results of website monetization began to skyrocket. As a result, in just one year of cooperation with Membrana Media, Obozrevatel.com increased its indicators by more than 100%, although we reduced the amount of banner advertising several times. This effect was made possible thanks to the publisher's openness to changes, its readiness to introduce new video content technology, and the well-coordinated work of professionals from Membrana Media.

Summary

This case study shows that every website has enormous potential, which can be monetized with the help of new tools such as video content. In addition, when a team has such a massive amount of work, it's essential to break it up into smaller pieces and not take on everything but gradually scale up the small results obtained in each area. 

We're sure that's not all Obozrevatel.com can do! But we will tell you about it in the following case study. 

About Client
Our client is one of the most significant news websites in Ukraine.
http://obozrevatel.com
Monthly visits
45М
The Audience
83% from Ukraine and 17% from other regions

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