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Viewability: The real truth

Blog | 27 Apr, 2017

The goal of programmatic display is for individual impressions to serve the right message to the right person at the right time. What good is it if the ad is not viewable to the user?
 

Since ‘viewability’ started to become a popular buzzword in the industry, two key issues hold us back from what defines the term.

First, measurement differs between viewability technologies meaning results can vary hugely depending on who you’re working with. Second, there is a dispute as to what defines an ad as ‘viewable.’ The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines an ad as viewable if 50% of the ad is in view for more than one second, however, there have been recent suggestions that 10 seconds should be the new standard. What we often forget is that viewability is not synonymous with a viewed ad in the same way that we may walk past a large billboard and not see it if we’re looking at our mobile phone. Until we can unify on the measurement and definition, standardization of viewability will be very difficult, if not impossible.

While the industry continues to develop the measurement of viewability, Jellyfish keeps brand safety and viewability at the core of their programmatic display team. Adloox viewability and fraud technology are employed as standard across our campaigns. Campaigns are also strictly whitelisted and 100% manually checked for site quality (e.g., ad clutter). In addition to the current definition and measurement of viewability, we believe that share of voice and fraudulent activity (e.g., non-human traffic) should be included. This allows us to say with confidence that our ad has been seen and acknowledged by a human user.

As an agency, Jellyfish is proud of their viewability performance but recognizes that while viewability is an important metric, it shouldn’t be the only focus when judging the performance of a programmatic display campaign. Brands often strive for a high viewability percentage, however, this often comes with a hefty CPM attached. As demonstrated in Figure 1, focusing solely on viewability can be inefficient. Viewability on its own doesn’t mean anything without considering reach and efficiency, namely the viewable CPM.

Jellyfish's integrated approach for viewability, including fraud and SOV, should be the adopted approach for all advertisers and media agencies. This, married with the standardization of measurement, could clean up the programmatic industry.

Want to learn more about optimizing effectively towards viewability? Contact us now.

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