The Media Rating Council (MRC) on Monday issued its first guidance for a “mobile viewable” ad impression. Mobile viewable ads follow the same criterion as online desktop and display ads -- requiring at least 50% the ad’s pixels to be in-view for at least one continuous second, or two for video -- but in the mobile realm, a new wrinkle has been added: "Loaded Ads."
As the viewability standard has two components to it (time in-view and percentage of pixels), the “Loaded Ad” accounts for situations in which one or both components meets the minimum threshold but the other does not.
“If both the pixel and time components associated with an ad are greater than zero, but one or both do not meet or exceed the … minimum requirements, the ad may be referred to as a ‘Loaded Ad,’” writes the MRC.
Additionally, if a viewability measurement firm determines that over 50% of an ad’s pixels were in-view, but cannot determine how long they were in-view for, that ad is considered a “Loaded Ad” but not a viewable impression. In fact, not only is a “Loaded Ad” not considered a viewable impression, the MRC says it should not be called an “impression” at all.
If the inverse situation is true -- i.e. the viewability measurement firm can determine the amount of time an ad spent in-view but cannot determine the amount of pixels -- that ad is considered neither a viewable impression nor a “Loaded Ad,” but is instead considered a “Served Impression,” assuming it meets certain other requirements.
The MRC stresses that the mobile vieawbility announcement made yesterday serves only as “initial guidance,” and that they were developed independently by the MRC. A working group is now forming which will test and study the initial guidance.
The MRC “plans to issue consensus-based interim guidance” during Q3 2015, and a “Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement Guidelines” document is planned to be issued by year’s end.