In this ‘Fast Take’ we will discuss the history of viewability, an online advertising metric designed to track only impressions actually seen by consumers, within the Digital Media landscape.
We will also explore how this important emerging metric is going to have an incredibly positive impact on our clients’ marketing efforts.
TODAY’S DIGITAL CURRENCY LANDSCAPE
For the most part, paid digital media today is traded on cost per thousand ‘server to server calls,’ which are essentially the downloading of content, by the web browser, from various servers, including the third party ad server hosting our marketers’ creative assets.
WHY IS THIS AN OPPORTUNITY?
Though the reliance on server calls to date has been widely accepted and adopted throughout the industry, it’s not the most effective proxy in determining the effectiveness of a media campaign. When ads are served today the measurement methodology does not take into consideration anything about the actual opportunity to impact a consumer associated with that ad. Therefore, from a measurement standpoint, we may treat an ad that is below the fold and one that is completely in line of sight for the consumer in the same manner, which is not accurate.
We have other proxies for viewability, such as engagement metrics, but there is still a very real opportunity to upgrade the currency with which we trade on media.
WHAT'S DRIVING THE TREND?
Digital advertising, largely on the display format side, has experienced a programmatic revolution over the past several years. This revolution was spurred by the launch of display media exchanges like Right Media (acquired by Yahoo 2007), DoubleClick Exchange (acquired by Google 2007), that allowed for API based trading rules to inform the flow of media. Soon would follow an abundance of Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) that enabled marketers to access these exchanges in real or near real-time to bid in auctions to serve advertisements.
The efficiency promise raised by these technology players has been realized to the benefit of marketers, however, the efficacy of programmatically available inventory has come into question.
This glutton of programmatically accessible media inventory suddenly becoming available tilted the scales of supply and demand in the digital display media ecosystem, leading to a debate over the merits of so called premium inventory, vs. the long tail of the programmatic web.
Through the recent prevalence of ad verification and viewability technologies, agencies are now able to determine, systematically, when an ad is actually in view on the browser. So nascent are these technologies in fact, the Media Ratings Council has only since March 31st 2014 lifted its advisory against trading on a viewable currency.
To continue reading, download Fast Take on Digital Viewability
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