The move toward 100% viewability is a move toward greater accountability, higher quality inventory, and improved ad experiences. And the responsibility for making these changes falls heavily on publishers.
But 100% viewability is tough to achieve, given the current state of the industry and the various content models employed by publishers. It also comes at a higher cost, which is somewhat contrary to the initial objectives of programmatic.
Publishers now have to perform a difficult balancing act between the art of publishing and the science of monetization. They must drive more traffic by publishing better and more timely content -- the art -- while adapting to the changing technology requirements of both programmatic platforms and viewability demands – the science. And, of course, this balancing act amid a rapidly evolving landscape must result in eventual profit.
Those publishers that can master this balancing of art and science, stand to benefit greatly. They will be more and more attractive in the eyes of increasingly sophisticated marketers who are driving these trends by demanding better results and increased transparency.
The balancing act doesn’t stop there. Marketers themselves also must strike a balance between art and science: the art of creating content that engages and excites consumers – and the science of advertising – programmatic distribution at scale that ensures their content is delivered, measured, and optimized effectively and efficiently. This combination of art and science, content and technology, can be described as the new discipline of content advertising.
Look no further than the Super Bowl to see perhaps the best showcase of content advertising at work. Brands that advertise on the Super Bowl often put more time, money, and resources into it than any other campaign during the year. But marketers now can reach an audience of up to five times the size of the live broadcast audience by augmenting their TV efforts with content advertising online. This is where art meets science even for an event largely viewed live on television.
Brands that combined great creative, smart media buying, and programmatic technology with an emphasis on
viewable, user-initiated placements had the best chance to win the big game. Viewability is the hot button here. And what is more viewable than when a user seeks out your content and chooses to
engage with it?
Brands evolving to combine art and science are winning in the battle for consumer attention. Publishers that follow suit and balance the art of content with the science of viewability and programmatic advertising will win the battle for marketer attention.
Ultimately, the rise of viewability, if it is tied to a rise in the art and science of content advertising, will gives consumers a big win as well. Consumers win when we produce better, more thought-provoking, more entertaining content. Consumers win when we create better ad experiences. Consumers win when content is served to them in the right place and at the right time. And when the consumer wins, all parties in the ecosystem are better off.