Some might call these forecasts bullish, but given the trends we are seeing at our company, such as significantly larger average campaign sizes, increases in video consumption, and creative/delivery standards becoming more widely adopted, I share this optimistic view. While the future of online video advertising is promising, there's still work to be done to make the industry more accountable. Recent industry press coverage highlighted examples of problematic ad placements resulting from quality control issues and calling into question the reliability of the entire online video medium. Certainly no industry is error-proof; however with the right standards, processes, and tools in place, online video advertising can be highly efficient and effective, while providing more accountability than any other media platform.
Ensuring the integrity and accountability of every one of the billions of impressions that run across an ad network requires a systematic and comprehensive set of policies, procedures, and tools. Here's an approach we endorse that could serve as a framework for others in the industry to embrace.
Policies: Insist on strict contractual agreements with publishers and advertisers setting forth rules of engagement and remediation.
Procedures:Take steps to ensure policies are enforced, including processes for vetting new publishers, manual network monitoring, exception handling, and remediation protocols for ongoing network integrity assurance.
Tools: Employ a combination of proprietary and third party technologies to monitor and validate the adherence of policies at both the network and campaign level.
Put simply, network integrity means ensuring that campaigns are delivered as sold in terms of these important distinctions:
Content Integrity: Networks should establish and enforce clear standards for content quality and brand safety.
Site List Integrity: Campaigns should only run only within an approved list of sites.
Placement Integrity: Transparency should be provided to advertisers on the following ad placement distinctions:
o Page Position: Defined as the location of the delivery of a video ad unit with respect to a user's active viewing window. On an initial page load, this means "above the fold."
o Play Mode: Defined as whether or not the video play was initiated by the user.
o User Intention: Defined as to whether there is user intent to view video content, by visiting a dedicated video page or viewing sequential video within a playlist.
Targeting Integrity: Ensure all targeting parameters including behavioral, demographic, geographic, etc. are delivered as sold.
Our hope is that our efforts to deliver on these standards will elicit other companies in our space to take this issue as seriously as we have. It's time to engage in a dialogue about how we can work together to improve any shortcomings and develop industry-wide standards and practices. The continued growth of our industry depends on it.