IAB Tech Lab moves to make in-app ad measurement 'less of pain point'

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Despite rapid growth in in-app ad spending—roughly $20 billion is projected to be spent on them in 2018, a 25 percent uptick from the previous year, according to Statista.com—the difficulty in important tasks like gauging ad viewability has been a drag on the sector. A popular publisher such as Flipboard, for example, must integrate each verification provider's SDK one by one so advertisers can get metrics from the provider they prefer. It's tedious and time-consuming.

On Tuesday, however, the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab released new guidelines that eliminate the need for multiple SDKs from third-party viewability and verification measurement companies. The effort, dubbed Open Measurement Software Development Kit, or OM SDK, only requires one SDK integration, instead of one for each individual provider.

"In-app measurement has always been a pain point," says Joe Barone, managing partner of brand safety at GroupM. "With the Open Measurement SDK built on shared source code, we'll be able to look under the hood easily, no longer struggling with having to review data from a wide variety of SDKs belonging to disparate vendors. Its widespread adoption will allow for seamless and dependable metrics and verification, which will give brands the confidence to increase their mobile in-app investments."

OM SDK "addresses the urgent need for in-app measurement solutions created by the growth of in-app advertising," Nicole McCormack, senior VP of revenue strategy and operations at Flipboard, said in a statement. "The fact that the IAB Tech Lab was able to coalesce a diverse group of stakeholders and also establish a voluntary compliance program to verify that all stakeholders are leveraging the software effectively will absolutely advance in-app mobile advertising."

A publisher's effort to support viewability measurement is now greatly simplified, says Dennis Buchheim, senior VP and GM of the IAB Tech Lab. In the future, Buchheim hopes OM SDK will lead to new solutions to fight fraud, or address "evolving industry measurement guidelines."

Tech Lab members, including comScore, DoubleVerify, Google, Integral Ad Science, Oracle (Moat) and Pandora, led the OM SDK initiative.

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