MRC Eyes '100%' Viewable, Begins Researching 'Duration Weights' Too

As part of its ongoing effort to improve ad industry trading currencies, the Media Rating Council is looking at raising the bar on video ad impressions to “100%” viewable, and has issued an RFP for research to support it, as well as its push to “duration weighting.”

Characterizing it as a call for “research and input,” the MRC said it is weighing a “possible move to 100% pixels as a viewability criteria.” That would be a significant shift from the previous standard -- for both video and static digital ads -- that a minimum of 50% of their pixels must be in view for a minimum duration of time (two seconds for video and one second for static ads) to be counted as “viewable.”

The shift to duration weighting is potentially an equally significant industry shift, because it seeks to create a level playing field for valuing time-based exposure to video ads across platforms.

When the MRC first outlined the concept of duration weighting late last year as part of its proposed standards for digital audience measurement, it got some pushback from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which followed up with a statement calling on both the buy and the sell sides to “refrain” from using duration weighting until an industry standard is ratified.

At that time, the MRC acknowledged it needed to research how duration-weighted audience metrics should be applied, and today’s call is intended to accelerate that.

“Specifically, MRC is posing questions such as whether different segments of a video ad may contribute differentially to the effectiveness of that ad,” the MRC said in a statement, adding that would include “what role the presence of especially strong branding elements may play; and other questions that can shed new insight into determining what time-related elements can contribute to an effective exposure in the video ad environment.”

The MRC said development of the cross-media audience measurement standards is targeted for completion in late 2018.

To submit research or data in response to the MRC's request, contact Ron Pinelli of MRC at


2 comments about "MRC Eyes '100%' Viewable, Begins Researching 'Duration Weights' Too".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 20, 2018 at 5:43 p.m.

    Good to see that the MRC is considering 100% viewability as the standard for defining whether a digital video commercial had a reasonable opportunity to be seen. Part of this should account for the presence of other content on the screen while tha ad message plays. If there is no other content, then 100% vieability is the minimum basis for comparison with "linear TV" commercials. If there is something else the user might watch or note, then even with 100%  ad viewability, we need research on ad recall, message registration, etc. to show what the negative effects of the other visual distractions  may be.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, March 21, 2018 at 7:58 p.m.

    We must think about WHY we measure these things.   The internet is (like TV) a primarily ad-supported medium.   The purpose of measurement is (ironically) not that of the content but of the ads.   Of course we need the content as well - but advertisers buy ads.

    We also mustn't forget the origin of 100% of pixels.   This was a benchmark for static advertising.   Did 00% of the MREC download.   Video is streamed so a different matter.

    So I believe that we need static benchmarks and streamed benchmarks that need to be different

    For static the advertiser wants to know:
    * Did 100% of the static creative download - if not count it as a zero
    * If it downloaded fully how many seconds (completed seconds) was the creative content viewable on the screen (e.g. not below the fold etc.)
    * What propertion of the viewable screen did the static creative take up.

    The client can then decide and deal on how many seconds they want that static creative on screen - the higher the seconds the higher the ad rate I would imagine - and what minimum proportion - again more costs more.

    For streamed the advertiser wants to know:
    * what proportion of the viewable screen the player had
    * what duartion in (completed) seconds did the ad play for
    * clearly pauses etc need to be factored in

    The client can then pay for what they get.   If they are confident in partial views they may settle for (say) 6 seconds of 15 second ad is the minimum and they pay proportionately above that threshold up to the duration of the content.

    Sadly, what can't be warranted is how much attention the viewer pays to the screen.   But that is as it has always been and puts online on par with linear TV.

    Let's solve the first one before we try to measure the second one.

    Oh ... and making better ads while they're at it will help!

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