The new era may be underway, but it is still early enough that some are still in need of the basics.
First up: What is the measurement standard?
Like display, the video viewability standard has a pixel and a duration minimum. The standard requires that a measurer determine that an ad meets the pixel requirement first: a minimum of 50% of ad pixels on an in-focus browser on the viewable space of the browser page.
A minimum of 50% of ad pixels must be in view for a minimum of two continuous seconds. The required time is not necessarily the first two seconds of the video ad. Any unduplicated ad content comprising two continuous seconds qualifies.
Second: How did the industry arrive at this standard?
Incredibly, what is absent from most public discussions of viewability is the simple fact that the standard is based on science. Yes, literally, empirical science informed the MRC and the experts from dozens of companies who participated in developing and writing the standard. The MRC tested assumptions about the duration requirement with data from billions of impressions. More than 80% of impressions that were viewable for two continuous seconds ultimately were viewable through video ad completion.
Third: How can you find out which companies are accredited for video viewability measurement?
The MRC website has the names of the companies audited and accredited to measure video viewability. To date, there are three MRC-accredited vendors.
Next: What should the industry be mindful of at this point?
Much of the latest press coverage on video viewability focuses on whether or not the standard is adequate. Just as headlines don’t always tell the whole story, minimums for measurement are a starting point; they are not necessarily the whole deal. I use the word deal deliberately, because this particular column is essentially about currency change – and with the go-ahead on transacting against viewable video ad impressions, a new official form of currency has been born.
Now, it is up to the marketplace to determine how the measurement standards are deployed for transactions, and adjust accordingly. Expect that the shakeout period will be somewhat attenuated. But transactional currency change and shakeouts of this sort aren’t new to the broader media marketplace, even though they are to digital media today. It’s what needs to happen in order for a new media channel to develop and grow.
More questions about video viewability? Experts at the organizations behind the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, the 4A’s, ANA and IAB, as well as the MRC -- myself included -- are ready to answer and ensure that this new standard drives the entire digital marketing ecosystem to new heights.