MRC Weighs In On Mobile 'Viewability,' Adds 'Loaded Ad' Criterion

The ad industry’s media ratings watchdog, the Media Rating Council, has issued its first ever guidance for a “mobile viewable” ad impression, maintaining similar guidance for online display and video ads, but adding a new criterion that the mobile ad actually loaded.

The MRC described new criterion as “interim guidance,” but said the new “loaded ad” metric requires the “measurement of both pixels and time.”

“A loaded ad is a measure, explicitly designed as an interim metric specific for mobile in-application measurement until such time that the state of that measurement fully matures, that provides users with some assurance that the ad did load on the screen,” the MRC said in a statement, emphasizing “although it does not meet the requirements for qualifying as a viewable impression.”

The IAB reiterated the same other criteria for mobile that it previously issued for non-mobile display and video ad impressions: 50% of pixels in the viewable space of the browser for a minimum of one second for display and two seconds for video ads.

“After the issuance of the desktop and video viewability guidelines last year, it became clear that technical characteristics of the mobile ad serving environment require the development of new or enhanced methods for determining the viewability of mobile-delivered ads,” said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the MRC. “Furthermore, the ways in which users interact with content and ads in mobile environments are inherently different from those observed in the desktop environment, possibly creating differences in where the moment of ‘opportunity-to-see’ occurs. As such, we will need to conduct extensive study, testing, and industry discussion to develop more permanent guidance. In the meantime, we have issued a set of interim approaches to mobile viewable impression measurement and reporting to allow the industry to transact in as seamless a manner as possible.”

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