Ad serving: Viewed ads, not served ads

Michael Froggatt
DG MediaMind

Ads requested from an ad server are not always visible to the viewer. A viewability standard being championed by an industry consortium would mean advertisers pay for viewable, rather than served, impressions.

As digital advertising matures, new and more robust measurement and pricing techniques are emerging, many driven by marketer demand. According to the Q4 2012 CMO Council report, State of Marketing 2012, 59% of marketers used physical engagement data, including clicks, response and conversion rates, to track the effectiveness of their digital campaigns. Of the sample, 47% of marketers listed website performance; volume, quality and origin of site traffic and page views; dwell time and registrations or sign-ups as metrics for measuring performance.

Amid calls to limit the reliance on the click as a performance metric, the industry is working to develop and deliver alternative measurable metrics. During the past year, the biggest move in measurement and pricing was the push for the viewable impression standard. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) partnered with the Media Rating Council (MRC) and leading US marketers (a coalition known as Making Measurement Make Sense, or 3MS) to develop, define and promote this new standard. While the official standard has not been finalised, the current working threshold is 50% of an ad's pixels in view for at least one second.