November 24, 2014
This is the second in a two-part series - click here to read the first.
We concluded our last post with the understanding that viewability is a post-serve metric. This bears repeating: viewability cannot be measured before an ad is served. As a result, it is impossible for a buyer of advertising to only buy viewable impressions. Still, some ad networks and media buying platforms, including TubeMogul, will offer a “Guaranteed Viewable” solution to brands and agencies. However, in this solution, the viewable CPM will be higher than the standard CPM to account for the wastage inherent in any media buy due to non-viewable impressions.
While this dynamic will always be present, creative quality and player size can mitigate the level of non-viewable impressions in a campaign. The more immediately engaging an ad is and the bigger the video player it is shown in, the more likely people are to remain on the active tab to watch the ad.
In fact, we found that player size is the best predictor of viewability.
Why is the predictive power of player size so important? It’s because it’s an actionable predictor! Remember how viewability is only something we can measure after the fact? Well, player size is the opposite. Player size is available before an ad impression is purchased, so we can use it as a proxy to buy viewable impressions.
In fact, we have demanded that every inventory source we work with provide us the player size of every ad impression in the real-time bid information so we can make a decision based on player size before we buy the ad impression. This will enable us to optimize our buys towards the most viewable inventory and offer a competitive viewable CPM relative to other vendors.
So where does the industry go from here? How do we come together to increase viewability across the board and give advertisers the results they expect from their investment in digital video?
The next major step the industry will take is to move to transacting on viewable impressions. But in order to do that, several things need to happen:
- First, we need consistent measurement of viewability, regardless of which technology provider is tracking viewability on a campaign. There is still too much discrepancy in the measured results provided by various providers.
- Second, publishers need to adapt to the focus on viewability. They need fewer, higher quality placements and the ability to monetize those placements at their market value.
- Third, brands need to demand the right data and metrics from their technology partners and they need to recognize that cost per viewable impressions are going to be more expensive than the standard CPM rates they are paying now.