Virool U: Industry trends – The measurability debate

The measurability debate

Advertisers are demanding better measurability of digital advertising. To date, there is still a lot of debate and confusion in the industry on what these new standards should be.

Why it is happening:

Traditional cost models paired with vague campaign goals have led to a lot of waste in the industry. Advertisers understand that a served impression does not equal a viewed impression, and are requiring the industry to introduce new benchmarks and standards to guarantee the quality of the inventory they purchase. In December 2014, Google released a study that found that 56.1% of display ad impressions served on its platforms were never viewable. In other words, advertisers purchasing impressions were potentially wasting 50% of their advertising spend, an astronomical and unacceptable number.
A “viewable” impression, according to the IAB standard, occurs when at least 50% of an ad is in view for more than one second.

Proof It’s Happening:

1. Numerous industry organizations have been founded with the purpose to improve measurability, including Media Rating Council (MRC), Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and IAB with the following focus areas:

  • Defining impressions
  • Establishing audience currency
  • Creating a standard classification of ad units
  • Defining ad performance metrics
  • Establishing brand attitudinal measures
  • Ensuring audience measurement is valid, reliable and effective

These industry bodies are self-regulatory organizations, not government bodies, and therefore, do not have regulatory power over any members of the digital advertising ecosystem. Compliance is completely voluntary.

2. Advertisers and agencies are demanding higher viewability standards. Specifically, Group M and Unilever announced in 2014 more stringent requirements for viewability, listed below.

  • 100% of the player in view
  • 50% video played while in view
  • Sound on
  • User-initiated (no auto play)

3. New industry metrics are appearing. MOAT introduced a proprietary metric in 2014 called Audibility and Viewability on Completion (AVOC) that is being used by advertisers to determine the quality of inventory.

What it means for the industry:

It’s critical for the industry to improve measurement and related cost models around the transaction of media in order to attract ad dollars.

What it means for Virool:

Virool is dedicated to meaningful metrics for advertisers. We do this by working with verification partners including MOAT, DV, WhiteOps and IAS to guarantee the viewability of our inventory. Transacting on cost models such as CPV, which guarantees advertisers they are only paying for real views, not just impressions. Actively participating in industry discussion. While the definition of “viewability” has been set by the IAB, the definition of a “view” specifically as it relates to video varies significantly among partners and platforms.