The Quest for One Standard Viewability Metric

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Publishers, vendors and industry groups have all tried to tackle the issue of viewability, and how viewable ad impressions should be measured. The problem is that marketers buying across the digital landscape end up with different metrics from different sources, and can't track accountability. It's also a problem for publishers, as it undercuts a publishers' ability to compete with Facebook, the kingpin of digital display advertising, which uses the same technology to measure viewability on its 1.86 billion users.


Now the IAB Tech Lab is aiming to close this viewability-technology gap by creating an open, unifying tech standard to measure viewability that can be used by anyone in digital advertising. Publishers could still use different vendors, but marketers could better understand what proportion of their ads are seen.

Viewability measurement company Moat provides about 200 different display metrics and about 200 different video metrics. WPP's GroupM, the world's largest ad buyer for marketers, says it trades on about five of those. But ad campaigns executed by other buyers might use different metrics entirely.

Should such a tech standard be achieved with viewability, it might also allow marketers to run large-scale campaigns with hundreds of leading publishers quickly and still get easily digested viewability measures. That sort of thinking would make it easier for marketers to run their campaigns outside of Google and Facebook.

Sonobi, GroupM and LinkedIn are the latest members to join the IAB Tech Lab. The trio will contribute to developing what might eventually become the standard tech that's used to measure viewability.

If you are looking for a partner to help you sort out your metrics, turn to LookBook.

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