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Ad Viewability – the new online currency

Advertising viewability has been talked about for several years now, meaning was the advertisement actually seen by an end user?  Was it viewed?  As a proxy to measure this, a critical step is to ensure the ad is actually on the screen.  If a page loads, and the ad is at the bottom of the page (requiring scrolling to be viewed) and the user doesn’t scroll, we know for sure the ad was not viewed.  Conversely, if it is at the top of the page, and the user scrolls before it loads, they may have scrolled it out of view w/out ever seeing it.  It turns out about 50% of advertising that is served, is never viewed.  Advertisers aren’t happy paying for those impressions and they are putting pressure on agencies and publishers alike to better measure and manage “viewability”.

As with many industry shifts, this was a tackling challenge to even begin to address w/out standards being put in place.  So the Media Ratings Council defined a standard for “viewability” as “at least 50% of an advertisement’s pixels being on screen for at least one second”.

Google recently came out with a study that includes some surprising results – such as where ad placements and locations are “most” viewable.  If you guessed at the top of the page, you’d be wrong.

It will only be a matter of time before advertisers will only pay on “viewable” impressions.  So how are you improving your viewability?

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