The proof is in the pudding and all that. But Moat, the software analytics and measurement company that seems to have honed a good reputation monitoring disreputable viewability scammers, has a new metric, the Moat Video Score, that may bring some new sense to topic of measuring what’s real and what is, essentially, a lot of hooey.
Right now, as everybody knows and almost everybody complains about, what’s judged “viewable” or billable as a “seen” online commercial is very short--just a portion of an ad’s pixels, seen for a fleeting second or two depending who’s counting, is enough to count. Nobody likes it.
The Moat Video Score promises to incorporate how long an ad was actually seen, and heard, and how much of the video screen the ad occupied, and report that number in a way that makes immediate sense, as in rated 1 to 100.
“Moat's new framework enables the industry to leverage a single metric to go beyond definitional differences and move toward a continuum model,” its announcement explains in one succinct statement.
The Moat announcement arrives with some significant endorsements, most notably, in my book, from Rob Norman, chief digital officer & chairman, GroupM and Luis Di-Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever.
GroupM and Unilever early on announced they would only accept 100% in-view display impressions, a much higher benchmark than MRC’s one-second/50% in view standard which they slammed hard. The new GroupM standard demands 100% in-view impressions for display ads and for video, a it requires that 100% of the video player is in-view and that half of the ad has been viewed with the sound on, and without autoplay.
That’s tough on publishers, but GroupM which controls as much as a third of all global ad spending, is in a pretty good position to influence the rules.
"Duration added to viewability provides a necessary modifier for planners as they allocate across platforms and will aid advertiser understanding of the opportunities and constraints of each environment,” Norman said, in Moat’s announcement. He said GroupM supports Video Score “to help improve the ecosystem and ultimately effectiveness of digital advertising."
Di-Como’s statement called Video Score “a positive step in the direction of building on the great work we have done as an industry around viewability and transparency.”
Execs at NBC Universal, Conde Nast and Hulu also chimed in. “This effort is an incredibly positive step toward more effective digital marketing,” added Lou Paskalis, senior vice president of enterprise media planning, investment and measurement at Bank of America.Being able to compare apples to apples is nice. Being able to compare how long those apples are actually seen and how big the apples are, seems like a big deal. But man, the vagaries of the biz.