Video: How Are We Going To Measure Digital's Fastest-Growing Ad Channel?

The news that video Web advertising is set to grow by nearly a quarter every year for the next four years coincided today with a report that admits the number of "inauditable" clicks is rising sharply, largely through auditing tools not being fully able to track all programmatic campaigns.

For anyone in the industry this must an alarm bell that the same cannot be allowed to happen to video. As it is, there are guidelines for display adverts that were recently ratified by the IAB, but sadly, there is yet to be agreement on what constitutes a level of viewability or even engagement when it comes to video. With Facebook automatically streaming video adverts, and friends' videos, the question of when a video 'view' is charged to the advertiser and when a video is actually viewed comes in to sharp focus.

It's not enough to say that a video advert was viewed all the way through because it may well have been the time a viewer switched panes to write an email or check Facebook until the ad was over and their chosen content appeared. 

I honestly have no magic wand to suggest how this conundrum is solved, particularly as the obvious route of only measuring click-throughs (i.e., CPC) is tricky because so much of video advertising appears before a selected piece of content the viewer doesn't want to navigate away from.

Transparency is going to be the key -- and advertisers will have to plan and buy campaigns based on the video being at least viewable, even if it is ignored, for a set amount of time. What may be then possible is a bonus if an advert is allowed to roll beyond the minimum screen time allowed and/or a bonus paid if content is interacted in some way -- maybe the sound is activated or a link is clicked on.

Another potential future could revolve around clicks being forgotten and brands instead buying tv-style share of audiences. A campaign might set out to reach a certain percentage of young males who love vodka or young women who are into sports. 

Trust me -- transparently charging for video advertising is a very tough nut to crack, far tougher than display.

It has to be done, however, because over the next four years in the UK alone, video advertising is going to double in value.

It's the fastest-growing digital marketing channel.

Surely it's time it had at least an IAB viewability metric?

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