Excessive Online Ads Curbed By Metric Standard

An oversupply of inventory is weighing down the online ad industry and stalling growth, according to a new white paper from comScore.
In the paper, “The Economics of Online Advertising,” comScore cofounder and CEO Magid Abraham attributes an increase in the complexity of campaign delivery and a virtually unlimited supply of inventory to “aggressive innovation.”
That might not be a bad thing if, in Abraham’s opinion, it didn’t “contribute significant waste to the buying and selling processes.”
In his report, Abraham advocates a “validated impression” standard for the industry, which introduces an element of digital scarcity that helps match the value flowing to publishers and advertisers with the value being delivered by the impression.
“By bringing the forces of supply and demand in online advertising into greater alignment, we introduce value to the ecosystem, accelerate the flow of ad dollars to digital, and foster a win-win environment for all stakeholders,” Abraham explains.
Validated impressions, as comScore defines them, are those that have an opportunity to be seen by consumers, as well as those that are delivered in the correct geography, among brand-safe content, and with non-human traffic removed.
To implement such a standard, Abraham and his team will have to convince the greater industry to agree on the model, as well as the best way to measure it.
To that end, the IAB, 4As and ANA continue to pursue their Making Measurement Make Sense initiative.
As online advertising has evolved, the main metric used to buy and sell ads has been the number of delivered, or served, impressions. Yet as ad platforms, formats and delivery technologies have evolved, so has the realization that many ads go unseen.  
As measurement technologies have improved, so has demand for -- and questions surrounding -- viewable impressions.

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