Commentary

'Mobile Viewability' Picks Up Steam Following MRC's Interim Guidance

It has only been two weeks since the Media Rating Council (MRC) issued its first guidance for a “mobile viewable” impression, but the ripple effects are already visible.

Just days after Millennial Media, a mobile programmatic exchange, announced it would guarantee marketers full viewability on mobile in-app ad campaigns, mobile ad tech firm Juice Mobile has made a similar promise. Juice has announced it will offer 100% viewability for both in-app and mobile Web ads.

“We see a majority of consumers naturally migrate to premium mobile sites, so we are offering a 100% viewability guarantee not only for in-app ads, but also for mobile web,” stated Neil Sweeney, president and CEO of Juice Mobile.

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Recent data from Google indicates that viewability is much less of a concern on mobile devices than on desktop devices, but it’s still far from perfect.

“A variety of factors can affect an ad’s viewability, including that operating system and carrier bandwidth can create latency for mobile ads, placement and loading may not be optimized for user experience and placements might be in a scrolling environment,” Andrew Bradway, senior director of business development at Millennial Media, recently told Real-Time Daily.

In a release announcing its plans for full viewability, Juice notes it will follow the MRC’s recently released guidelines. The MRC’s standards for mobile viewability are the same as they are for desktop viewability -- 50% of the ad must be in-view for at least one second for display ads, or two seconds for video ads.

However, the MRC introduced the “loaded ad” when it issued its interim guidance the other week. In short, the “loaded ad” accounts for situations where one component of viewability is met (i.e. percentage of pixels) but the other is not (i.e. measurement firm can’t determine how long the ad was in-view for).

No word yet on how Juice or Millennial plan to deal with “loaded ads” now that they are guaranteeing viewability -- the company line of “we’re working closely to follow the standards” is the only thing given -- but the MRC expressly states that a “loaded ad” should not be considered an impression of any sort, let alone a viewable impression.

The article has been updated to reflect that Integral Ad Science was not chosen by Juice Mobile to measure viewability, as the article initially stated. Integral is the viewability measurement firm Millennial Media is using for its guaranteed viewability offering, however.

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