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100% Ad Viewability Standard:
The Media Rating Council (MRC) has issued a call for research on two important digital media metrics – ‘Duration Weighing’ and ‘a possible move to 100% Ad Viewability Standard’. The aim is to accelerate the process of development of its Standards for Cross-Media Video Measurement, as brand advertisers continue to seek better viewability metrics than the existing ones.
MRC also requested industry parties to submit related researches so that the quandaries existing in the upcoming metrics can be cleared.
‘We may move to 100% Pixel Viewability standard later this year’
– MRC Chief Executive George Ivie
The Problem with Current Viewability Metrics
At present, to certify an Ad as ‘viewable’, it needs to be at least 50% in-view to the consumer for a second. In the case of video ads, the duration should be at least 2 seconds. The problem is 50% pixel, which is in-view, may/may not cover the ultimate brand message of the Ad campaign. Regardless, the Ad is deemed ‘viewable’ as per the current standard.
Advertisers and brand marketers across the globe have been complaining about the quality of MRC’s standards and even believe this in-efficiency is hampering the majority of advertisers from utilizing digital advertising to the fullest.
On the other hand, Publishers are concerned about the fact that the rise in pixel percent may reduce their charges (CPMs) and ultimately, affect Ad revenue. Amid the discrepancies, MRC has been working to frame better standards for the past few years.
“At the time, initial studies conducted by MRC when setting viewability thresholds showed that if the 50% pixels criteria were met, the entire ad was viewable in nearly 80 percent of the cases. The MRC expects that percentage is likely higher today, as properties are better optimized for viewability than they were in 2012 when the original pilot study was conducted”
Accelerating the development
Last year, when MRC outlined ‘duration weighing’ as one of the standard metrics for measuring digital audience, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) followed back with opposition by suggesting both Sell Side and Buy Side to ‘refrain’ from using ‘duration weighing’ until an industry standard is ratified.
MRC agreed with the statement and pointed out the need for more research and development. The recent call is to accelerate the process of development.
A Significant Industry Shift
In TV ads, the concept of partial pixels doesn’t even exist. And, it is not possible for advertisers to complain about any viewability standards. In order to improve the digital advertising ecosystem, there’s a need for adaption.
Both Publishers and Advertisers should optimize their approach and trading methodologies in certain cases to make a step towards improvement. Everyone in the chain agrees this will be a significant shift in the industry.
What’s holding the Publishers back?
Advertisers and marketers are looking for a better standard while publishers begin to crunch the resulting numbers. One of the important obstacles is, delivering 100% Viewable Ads lies in the hands of both publishers and consumers. Even though Publishers work on placing the Ads in the right places to ensure 100% viewability, the reader should have the bandwidth, screen resolution, internet speed, etc. to view the ad completely. And, in the past few months, rendering an ad seems to raise an issue too. With all the questions and deciding factors involved, we have to wait and watch what MRC has to offer.
Important Statements released by MRC:
From its inception, the MRC intended it’s viewable impression standard to be a way to bring digital ad impression measurement closer to commonality with other media ad impression measurement, including that of TV.
The development of cross-media audience measurement standards is targeted for completion in late 2018.