Just before the 20th century began, the story goes, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office advised the president to close it up because “everything that can be invented has been invented.”
In fact, that quote was invented. But in the first few years of the 21st century, it gained great currency, no doubt because the Internet let it spread, mostly because the power of the Internet made it plain to we modern folk that there was a lot of inventing left to do.
So it goes that today the ad tech business still struggles to invent the perfect video solution that captures viewers and keeps them, and counts them -- and eliminates viewability concerns.
A good one coming to market is Visible Measures’ new ScrollView solution that guarantees viewability and -- here’s the hook -- at least 30 seconds of consumer attention. Hope springs eternal.
As users scroll on a site or mobile app, the ScrollView ad appears as soon as its technology intuits the ad to be served will be fully in view. Then the video plays, with audio, until the user scrolls away.
But unlike other ad servers, ScrollView guarantees the advertiser that seemingly impossible 30 seconds, or until the ad ends, whichever happens faster.
The problem with this solution, as founder and CEO Brian Shin readily acknowledges, is that very few users are going to hang in there. “The idea to set it at 30 seconds is quite controversial,” he says. “It does offer a strong value for marketers, knowing they’re only paying for viewers who are choosing to watch.” But, he says, “that’s definitely not a high number.”
Also, ScrollView keeps the sound going, until the user scrolls away. “We had a lot of debate on that,” Shin says. But he adds, sound hugely affects recall and since the whole idea was based on improving what’s there, sound beat silence.
I think Visible Measures has an interesting concept: The current mode -- charging the client after a laughably short viewing period of just seconds, without sound--would seem to leave a lot of room for improvement. And Visible Measures is improving it by a lot, and not charging the client if the job isn’t done.
For publishers looking for a leg up on mobile or laptop sites ScrollView offers a differentiator. “The real cool trend is for companies to find better solutions” than Facebook is offering, Shin says.
Advertisers that want to take advantage of the 30 seconds will create more compelling, better directed messages. That, Shin believes, is an enhancement to the user experience. And that is the invention Visible Measures thinks is still worth tinkering with.
Hmmm. Sounds interesting. I wonder if they plan to "document" the added value by measuring the impact on ad recall and message registration for video commercials under this definition of "visibility" relative to the proposed norm---such as the IAB "standard"?
Sound ? Not sound.
There is also an inherent assumption that just because the server can 'intuit' a 30-second duration then there must be someone viewing.
At the moment my browser has six Mediapost tabs open - and all have be open longer than 30 seconds. So under such a system wouldn't all six tabs would be deemed as viewable as the server has no idea of what else is happening on the device as it is not information at the OS level. Indeed the server has no idea whether my browser has the focus on my laptop or is just clocking up time back at the server.