SteelHouse released an analytics tool Wednesday that allows marketers to verify whether or not a digital advertisement was viewed on a screen by someone using a mobile device or on a
Advertising industry insiders call it testing for viewability. "It's crazy to expect people to pay more money to know if someone saw your ad," said Mark Douglas, president and CEO at SteelHouse. "We're not trying to put any of the viewability vendors out of business. That's not the goal."
Douglas believes verifying the viewability of an ad is the "basic right of an advertiser." The company plans to give the tool away for free indefinitely -- it's not a move toward charging for the package.
The technology is compliant with the Interactive Advertising Bureau standards and MRC viewability requirements. Verified Visits is free to anyone in the ad-tech industry, Douglas said.
"If I run an ad, who is actually seeing my brand?" Douglas asked. "We’re giving advertisers the tools to know their advertising dollars are being used correctly and that their ads are actually getting in front of their intended audience."
Here's how it works: Code that gets carried along with the advertisement as it is served on a device can measure where the advertisement gets served and whether it is in view at the moment it's served or whether the person scrolled down the page to view it. The data is collected and recorded. Reports are available that allow marketers to see the data down from creatives to the publishers, scoring the viewability overall as well as at each level.
Advertisers are demanding more information as the cost of advertising continues to rise. Header bidding and other trends have more than doubled CPMs, leading marketers to increasingly demand visibility into how their ads are served and their budgets are spent, Douglas said.
The tool is available through the SteelHouse advertising suite, and the free creative suite. Advertisers still need to buy the media, but the tool is free.