Seeing Viewability Clearly
For example, as we get closer to the date when the MRC plans to lift its advisory against transacting on viewable impressions, it's imperative that the marketplace is fully clear in understanding that seeing viewability and being viewable are two different things.
I mean that while there’s broad consensus around the need to have a viewability standard, there is still much work underway to ensure that improved measurability and the technical enhancements needed to ensure that goal are in place. There is still a debate in digital video circles about the precise requirements that should be in the standard.
Thankfully, I’m seeing our communications about this important distinction taking hold.
Courtesy of the 4A’s, I was able to attend a recent briefing by George Ivie, CEO and executive director of the MRC for agency planners and buyers. This group of bright people who are executing digital buys everyday understood that while we see viewability coming -- and coming soon -- the tools are not yet in place to transact on viewability. We have not yet become as fully measurable as we would like, and therefore cannot prove how viewable we are yet.
The planners and buyers in the room recognized why the leaders of their respective agencies have been working with the rest of the ecosystem to secure an orderly transition to viewable display currency. And they are eager to do so themselves, even in the face of client requests for viewability guarantees.
That deep understanding of the shift that is underway with 3MS was gratifying to see. However, it is still incumbent upon all of us involved in the initiative to keep the communication going strong. In that vein, several materials were published last week, and anyone preparing for the switchover needs to review them straight away:
- A Metrics Insider article by George Ivie and my colleague Steve Sullivan, vice president of advertising technology for IAB, entitled “Reduce Unmeasurable Inventory Now: Viewable-Impression Standard Coming.”
- A blog post on “The Fourth Quarter Countdown to Viewability” by Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, which provides perspective on marketers’ POV on the need for new digital measurement standards.
- A video hosted by James Deaker, vice president of advertising and data solutions at Yahoo, detailing how IAB SafeFrame enables viewability and innovation.
- An in-depth FAQ on 3MS from inception to today.
- An official timeline for the 3MS initiative.
Becoming familiar with these materials will give you:
- Undeniable confirmation that marketers want viewability standards in place by the end of 2013, as well as an understanding that sellers who make the investments required to change to a viewable display impression will be rewarded.
- An understanding of how to move unmeasurable inventory to measurable.
- A primer on how SafeFrame, a critical solution to seeing into i-frames, works.
- Detailed information on the who, what, when and why of the 3MS program.
To our colleagues who have asked for more information and conversation, and to our colleagues who simply have been too busy to follow the developments, I say: Please read up, please listen, and please ask questions! In fact, the IAB is hosting a Town Hall on 3MS tomorrow, and you are welcome to join. We anticipate a capacity crowd, but encourage you to register for the webinar.
All of you are part of this major turning point for the digital arena. Now is the time to get updated and involved.