Scale, Standards Hold Key To Arrival Of Programmatic AR/VR Ads

Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) are steadily expanding into the mainstream. We have seen a number of companies begin to invest in developing headsets and content to run on new platforms. Eventually, through growth in overall use of these devices, new and exciting avenues for digital advertisers will present themselves.

As with most new opportunities for digital distribution, AR/VR platforms will eventually enter a stage where programmatic advertising becomes necessary or useful.

While this will likely take some time to happen, industry members have little doubt the programmatic applications of AR/VR will appear in the market.

Scale will be the major barrier to integration with programmatic platforms, as was the case with digital advertising in the early 2010s, and is currently the case with connected and smart TV.

“Programmatic is not necessarily where AR/VR advertising will focus first,” Tripp Boyle, YuMe’s VP of emerging platforms, told RTBlog. “The programmatic piece takes some time, and that has more to do with scale.”

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been cautiously excited about the rise of AR/VR and 360 video. As reported by Mediapost's P.J. Bednarski, the IAB released a report asking: “Does everyone think of VR in the same way? Are there standard definitions for what constitutes VR? The short answer for both is ‘no’.”

The IAB, with relevant companies, will have to come up with definitive answers to these questions in order to develop meaningful metrics for measuring VR and AR ad campaigns.

“Over the next one to three years, we will develop appropriate guidelines to better understand and transact in the AR/VR space,” Boyle added.

“Once brands better understand VR and its place in the multichannel video ecosystem -- once there are more standards in place -- then we’ll see the ecosystem be more active at the programmatic level.”

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