OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 07/14/2014 By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Video ad viewability metric established

While marketers are quickly catching on to paying only for viewable web ads, they now will get the chance to pay only for viewable video ads. A recent standard established by the Media Rating Council (MRC) dictates that viewable video ad impressions only include those ads where 50 percent of the pixels have been in view on an Internet browser for at least two continuous seconds (the standard is one second for display ads). The new metric is a significant leap for the ad industry on viewability and video ads get more popular. So far, only Telemetry, Moat, and Videology have been accredited by MRC to sell video ad viewability products, according to WSJ’s Jack Marshall, but it won’t be long before others jump in. Marshall pointed out that Google and Yahoo already offer up the option for marketers to pay only for viewable web ads. But new advancements usually bring challenges too. Alex Loeffler, COO at Adconian Direct, a global ad firm, told ClickZ’s Yuyu Chen that the prices for viewable impressions may rise. “We will all see demand for viewable impressions rise, which in some cases may impact pricing,” Loeffler said.

For some ad buyers, a two-second period of engagement isn’t long enough to count as a full impression. Spark SMG’s Amy Dickerson told Adweek’s Christopher Heine that while MRC’s short standard is a help to the industry, there should be a higher threshold for viewability. “Two seconds is not, by any means, a great representation of a 15-second [ad],” she said. Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton wrote that better video viewability standards will shrink the pool of video inventory. Evolve Media’s Brian Fitzgerald told Bilton, “The big challenge for quality publishers is how much legitimate in-view inventory doesn’t get properly measured and credited, thereby resulting in lost revenue. That’s where publishers will suffer the most.” MediaPost’s Pierre Chappaz said the video advertising industry has a quality problem, which is why at least half of all display and video advertising are never even seen. “Although monitoring viewability is key, it is more important to develop formats that encourage the user to watch an ad, not avoid it at all costs,” he wrote. “We believe that ads have more value when web users intentionally view them. Video ads…can be offered as relevant content, not a painful toll that must be paid before video content can be viewed.”