The only objective of serving the ads online is to make them available to the customers. An ad is of no use if it’s not visible to the clients. So , mere serving an ad is not enough for a successful campaign , we need to ensure that it’s being viewed by the customers.
Ad Viewability can be defined as the online advertising metric which keeps the track of those impressions which are actually viewed by the customers
What is a viewable impression?
A served ad impression becomes a viewable impressions if its contents are available in viewable space of the browser window , on an in-focus browser tab , fulfilling the basic criteria for an ad to be considered viewable such as the percent of ad pixels within the viewable space and the length of time the ad is in the viewable space of the browser.
For example, if an ad is loaded in the bottom of a web page, but a user does not scroll to view, print that would not be considered visible.
Why did Ad viewability concept come into existence?
To every new thing there is always a need behind, similarly, ad viewability came into existence due to advertiser started to complain and expected proof about their ad being viewed by the targeted users. The only solution was to calculate or measure the viewability of ad being rendered on the webpage thus such new emergence.
The IAB reported that 54% of all online advertising is not seen by users and this was concluded looking at many factors like:
- Many times the ad is loaded out of sight of the user since user does not scroll the page
- The ad does not load in time due to slow bandwidth or network issues
- The announcement has plugins that the user does not have
- Due to use Ad blockers by users
Thus, advertiser getting educated about such factors made them realize to pay only for viewable ads and not just served impressions thus leading to new metric called CPMV i.e. cost per mille viewable ads.
Google , one of the giants of the advertising network, announced in December 2013 that they will only charge for ads viewed . To define what is considered ad seen and what not, Google has worked directly with the Media Rating Council using the standard proposed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Let’s know the requirement for an impression to be considered as Viewable Impression:
- Pixel Requirement :– Minimum 50% pixels of the ad must be visible in viewable space of the browser.
- Time Requirement: The ad must be visible in the browser for a minimum time of one continuous second, post ad render.
Both these requirements must be determined in a specific order. Only once the pixel requirement is fulfilled , then we can determine the time requirement.
Some other requirements or criteria to determine the viewable impressions are:
- User Actions: If it is determined that the user is actively interacting with the ad such as clicking on the ad then this can be considered as viewable impression even if it doesn’t meet the pixel and time criteria. A mere mouse-over would not be considered as viewable impressions. A user must indulge in the call for action for the impression to be considered as viewable.
- Large Display Ads: Large Ads usually occupy more space on the browser , so fulfilling pixel criteria of 50% would not be feasible for it . So , for large display ads if 30% pixels of the ad lies in the viewable space of the browser for a minimum of one second then it’s considered as Viewable Impression.
- Expandable Rich Media Ads: There are certain ads which normally appears in the browser in small size , and once the user interacts with it , they expand. For these ads , viewability can be measured in two ways. Either we can measure the pixel count when the ad is in initial small size or we can examine the pixel once the ad expands. If we are considering pixel count for an ad in initial size then time requirement should be examined for both pre-expansion and expanded the state. But , if we are considering pixel count for expanded ad then time requirement is also counted for the expanded ad.
BENEFIT of Ad Viewability:
Advertisers usually pay for each impression which is served irrespective of whether it’s being viewed by the customers or not. Due to which advertisers has to bear a loss of several dollars. Due to this reason, the advertisers wanted to shift from impression served standard to impression viewed standard.
Ad viewability represents a significant change in the way online media in the sale and tracking cookies and improves allocation models, making them more accurate.
It is proven that greater ad viewability, improves the performance of the brand and direct response campaign but we will still have to wait for it to be universal to know it’s all over the impact on the online advertising market.