MRC Ends Gating Period, Lifts Viewability Advisory For Video Advertising

The Media Rating Council (MRC) on Monday officially green lighted the transaction of digital video ad impressions based on viewability. The announcement marks the end of a 90-day "gating period" that the MRC imposed in an effort to allow the marketplace to prepare for the change.

Digital advertisers have been able to buy and sell display ads based viewability since March 31, 2014. The standard for a “viewable” online ad impression is 50% of its pixels being in-view to a user for one continuous second, or two seconds for an online video ad.

Per the MRC’s Viewable Ad Impression Guidelines: “To qualify for counting as a viewable video ad impression, it is required that 2 continuous seconds of the video advertisement is played, meeting the same pixel requirement necessary for a viewable display ad. This required time is not necessarily the first two seconds of the video ad; any unduplicated intent of the ad comprising 2 continuous seconds qualifies in this regard.”

That is the core explanation of what qualifies as a “viewable” video ad impression, and RTBlog recently did a rundown of some noteworthy disclaimers. Many in the industry view the standards as a starting point rather than a finished product, including Alex Loeffler, chief operating officer at Adconion Direct.

“While video viewability standards still have a long way to go, we are optimistic that the industry wants to move in the right direction to provide advertisers the opportunity to make the most informed ad buys possible, and continue to work on solutions that provide further transparency to reduce impressions wasted on bots, poor viewability and low quality placements,” Loeffler told Real-Time Daily. “Viewability standards for both display and video will surely evolve over the next year as technology becomes more sophisticated and the demand from advertisers around viewability metrics rise.”

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