As we all know, the digital video industry is focused on moving to viewable impressions as a standard. There's no shortage of questions behind that shift. What's the right measurement? What guidelines will be approved? What percent of ads are truly non-viewable?
At the same time, the industry is chugging along with existing key performance indicators (KPIs) -- sales conversion data, completion rates, brand lift, etc. With each passing year, we mature and more and more expected "norms'' fall into place, creating benchmarks that set the foundation for campaign-specific performance evaluations.
This is all good, except, of course, that this is all potentially "bad" math. Today's key performance indicators are based on totals that include non-viewable and viewable impressions. The "norms" that have helped us all mature, grow and compare against are fundamentally flawed, given that base.
Let's look at perhaps just one of the most common metrics currently in use: the completion rate.
Without accounting for viewability, market averages for completion rates may hover near 75%. However, when we look at Adtricity data – a data set that isolates viewable impressions – the viewable completion rate falls to 38%. Viewable completion rate calculations include ONLY those where the ad was viewable and the ad ran to completion – a stark difference from the traditional calculation which includes both non-viewable impressions in the overall count, coupled with the fact that the completion is not dependent on a user view of that completion.
Depending on the performance metric, norms may shift differently -- brand lift assessments and click-thru rates may improve as the non-viewable impressions are removed from the equations. Regardless, the industry will be confident in driving forward with a clear windshield and presenting a true view of the road ahead.
Agencies are quickly moving to viewability standards across the board. This means all subsequent KPIs will shift to reflect measurement based off the viewable impression perspective.
While the industry debates what the exact requirements will roll-out for viewability, agencies and publishers can take the opportunity today to get sense of what is coming tomorrow. Today's viewability tools such as Adtricity, should help the market prepare for any upcoming shifts in performance evaluations.