Measurement standardization is critically important for industry cohesion, and yet the issue remains: We still do not have a complete cross-platform video measurement in place. It has caused significant fatigue and duplication, especially in the mobile and OTT space.
Further, publishers and networks are working in silos, measuring with different tagging systems, including SDKs and watermarks. But ultimately, they are devoid of a true valuation of their content.
Conceptually, the answer is simple. We need a single, open source, industry standard identifier to both recognize ads and content, while accounting for and capturing duration of viewing.
There are already initiatives underway that offer potential solutions.
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is at the forefront, via their TAXI (Trackable Cross-Platform Identification) initiative. It is about binding Ad-IDs and Entertainment ID registry (EIDR) identifiers into both ads and content as they move across platforms. Additionally, Integral Ad Science (IAS) has created an open source SDK program for in-app viewability.
Yet, we still can and need to do more.
To that end, it’s essential for the industry at large to advocate for a universal solution for identifying when, where and how long a video ad was viewed. As part of this, duration must be considered as a key dimension in order to keep pace with the MRC’s efforts to revise its video viewability standards, which includes duration as a key feature.
In addition, duration is an essential measurement to determine the impact of brand storytelling — whether the message is being truly absorbed by the viewer. Marketers place a premium on audience exposure; it’s a valued currency.
In fact, the industry has already taken notice, with in-market products such as YouTube’s TrueView for Reach.
While some technical work is still needed, bringing together open source options, like TAXI and IAS’s viewability code, seems like a logical foundation on which to build, especially since, like mobile, OTT environments are app-based. This becomes increasingly important as advertisers seek to diversify spend and prospect new ways to reach an ever-fragmented consumer base.
We remain bullish on this issue, as it is in the best interests of all parties — media partners, brands, clients and more. A single solution creates tremendous efficiencies on all sides of the equation: Publishers and advertisers would only have to employ a single tagging solution. Any measurement firm would theoretically be able to identify and leverage this standardized process.
Now comes the real challenge: building momentum and consensus within the industry. Let’s get to work.