WASHINGTON DC: At a time when trust and transparency in digital advertising is a major issue for the industry, comScore has responded by offering viewability metrics to clients for free.

The cross-platform measurements firm announced in a release that the comScore Viewability tool will be made available this summer, allowing advertisers around the world to measure viewability rates across display, video and mobile.

"Viewability is an increasingly expected part of advertising verification, but can consume measurement budgets and displace other important campaign metrics," the company said.

"As a result, ad effectiveness is often gauged by viewability metrics alone, even though these speak only to whether or not an ad impression is seen and not whether it made an impact."

The statement went on to explain that the comScore Viewability tool uses the same tag and technology as comScore validated Campaign Essentials (vCE), which meet the Media Rating Council's definitions for ad viewability.

As such, the announcement garnered wide support from industry practitioners, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which has been pushing hard for improvement in the digital advertising landscape.

"IAB applauds comScore for providing critical support for the digital ad industry's viewability standard. It is critical that this industry stop wasting time on unproductive arguments about baseline standards and start investing time on what really matters – the strategies, ideas, and executions that move hearts, minds, and wallets," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO at the IAB.

"The MRC standard for viewable impressions was agreed to and has evolved under consistent cross-industry participation. It's time for the entire marketing-media ecosystem to accept it and move on to more productive innovations, including agreement on how to measure cross-media audiences and engagement."

Alison Fennah, Executive Business Advisor at IAB Europe, also welcomed the move."Establishing viewability as a baseline standard is critical to the evolution of digital advertising – it further helps bridge the measurement gap between digital and TV," she said.

"By better aligning advertising across all platforms, advertisers can turn their attention back to meaningful KPIs, such as reach and frequency."

Data sourced from comScore, Media Rating Council; additional content by WARC staff