MRC Explains Waiting Period For Video's New 2-Second Rule

The Media Rating Council, which Monday officially authorized “viewable” metrics as the advertising currency for non-video online advertising, said it technically is holding off authorizing it as a standard for online video advertising for another 90 days to allow the marketplace to brace for the change.

“Come June 30th that expires,” David Gunzerath, senior vice president-associate director of the MRC, told MediaDailyNews this morning, following its official announcement.

Gunzerath characterized the so-called “gating period” as a formality to allow the online video marketplace to further evaluate the data and prepare for the change, but he said the decision is a fait accompli.



“We don’t intend to do anything else about it,” he said, adding that the reason for extending it was that the industry didn’t have sufficient time to vet the data for online video viewability.

The official standard for non-video online advertising viewability is that 50% of the pixels of the ad must be viewable to the user for at least one continuous second. The proposed standard for online video is two continuous seconds.

In an earlier interview explaining the reason for the different standards for static display and online video, Gunzerath said the MRC’s research concluded it takes longer to determine if a user is engaged or not by online video advertising.

“What we wanted to do is basically isolate that moment right before the ad creative takes hold,” Gunzerath explained, adding that the two-second requirement was determined to be the best standard for balancing the interests of buyers and sellers in this equation.”

Gunzerath said the MRC found “users really didn’t act upon the ad, in itself, until the two- or three-second mark. That’s why we came up with the two-second mark.”

He said the standard is based on giving vendors an “opportunity for an ad to be seen,” and then shifting responsibility for holding the user’s attention to the video advertising content itself.

“Frankly, we went into the project thinking video was not going to be that different,” he recalled, adding: “When we dug into it, we found it was a lot more complicated than we thought.”

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