Inhouse technology speeds ad downloads at WaPo

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The Washington Post has completed its own rollout of Zeus, a faster ad download technology that comes from Jeff Bezos rather than Google.

The speed focused advertising technology - which has been developed inhouse - is now in use for all advertising on the Washington Post sites, including mobile, desktop and apps.

And the guarantee is that everything loads in under two seconds.

The technology - for which patents are pending - was launched on mobile in September, and is now available through The Post's publishing platform Arc.

Since the mobile launch, ad performance has seen a 100 per cent increase in viewability compared to the industry average and a 32 per cent click-through rate increase, the publisher says.

"We set out to create the web's fastest advertising technology, and this near instant and frictionless delivery of ads is now our default ad experience," says head of ad product and technology Jarrod Dicker.

"Zeus is truly an industry-first technology, and it has evolved as we've been developing a solution that can scale across our own site as well as partner sites through Arc."

Dicker says the development focus was not just to improve speed, but to produce a scalable product that could help solve industry wide issues like viewability, ad fraud and ad blocking.

The technology includes 'smart scrolling protection' with ad call and rendering based on swiping behaviour, and a real-time log of creative size to optimize delivery based on weight. Ad delivery is prioritised based on viewability, and creatives load based on viewport to eliminate fraud and extraneous background script loads.

At the launch, Dicker said Zeus had decreased latency by 75 per cent compared to standard mobile web, with "even better results" expected as the technology evolves over coming weeks.

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