Tag Archives: viewability

Mobile Viewability: The final frontier

Mobile is a hot topic. Viewability is perhaps even hotter. Bring the two together and you have some sort of digital marketing nuclear volcano.

Well maybe. Mobile viewability is a subset of the overall “has my ad been seen and by who” issue, but a particularly tricky one. The lack of a unique user ID is the clearest roadblock. But it’s also clear that the various technologies and vendors used to solve mobile advertising delivery issues, often create further fragmentation.

Fragmentation is especially critical when understanding exactly how ads are delivered to a mobile webpage or app. In mere milliseconds – the time it takes to load a webpage or app – a typical mobile ad is requested, analyzed, bid on, approved, and served. That’s the reality of the coming era of programmatic advertising as many of you know.

A recent infographic from The Mobile Majority walks us through the steps required for all these technologies to work together. And with a whole swathe of brands and ad tech firms in the mobile first APAC region committing unequivocally to the future of programmatic, the mobile viewability issue is not going to go away.

Understanding Mobile Viewability [2015]

Mobile-Viewability-The-Mobile-Majority

In simple terms, the entire journey of an ad, from initial request to final display, has to happen really fast. That’s what programmatic necessitates. During such a rapid journey, handoffs between technologies and vendors have to be clean and consistent.

Once the ad is actually placed, a whole other set of considerations emerge. Publishers control their site or app, deciding how and where to place the ads that get delivered. On the other hand, tech vendors control how the ad is rendered. How that rendering interacts with publisher placement can go a long way in determining viewability.

Mobile ads are also becoming more complex. The banner ad, although still incredibly popular, is receding to the back of the most-effective-ad discussion. Taking its place at the front are rich media ads and video, which offer much higher levels of interactivity, engagement and ultimately conversion.

But higher levels of creative require – you guessed it – more layers of technology. Try to integrate this creative across different operating systems, app formats, web browsers and connection types, and you have countless opportunities for viewability to break down.

And here’s the final problem: we don’t even have a set of viewability standards for mobile yet. The IAB standards are designed for desktop, and therefore really only helpful as a frame of reference. So while we wait for official mobile guidelines (expected by the end of this year), viewability on mobile will continue to have a frontier feel to it. Hopefully, there won’t be too many outlaws.

Latest Research Shows Viewability “Just Works”

Viewability was one of the hottest topics in Digital over 2014, but the buzz has eased off slightly since the release of the IAB standards. Concerns around fraud rumble on, with a feeling that current regulation does quite not go far enough.

Getting measurement right is a key component of successful advertising delivery, especially in the Digital space where there is so much measurement available. Benchmarks, research and case studies are crucial, so it’s handy that Sizmek have just released their latest report into the impact of viewability measurement.

The Sizmek Research team analyzed viewable data from more than 240 billion measured impressions, 840,000 ads and 120,000 campaigns served in 74 countries to more than 22,000 publishers and 43 programmatic partners. That’s quite a lot.

The report found that ads with greater interactivity are more likely to be viewable, that mobile ads are more viewable than ads on desktop computers, and ads sold directly to publishers are more viewable than ads sold through automated or programmatic platforms.

There are some interesting comparisons looking at APAC versus other regions. Asia in general scores very high in rich media mobile ad CTRs.

In the US, the IAB minimum viewable threshold for performance, is 70% viewability. The research found this level to be a reliable indicator of performance. The report also found that choosing mobile friendly HTML5 formats and creative sizes specific to mobile devices, improves ad viewability.

Sizmek Viewability Benchmarks [2015]

“The specifics and definitions will no doubt continue to be debated, but the recent efforts at standardizing viewability terminology move the industry toward a more transparent marketplace for digital ads, and our research backs that up. Viewability just works in terms of driving campaign performance,” says Alex White, VP Product Strategy at Sizmek.

Clearly, measuring whether an ad is viewable gives the industry a great starting point for trading in true engagement.