How Ad Ops Views Viewability
Max JaffeFebruary 2, 2015
Unfortunately, when it comes to viewability, there are no shortcuts that will make you an instant expert. Viewability has been a hot topic for well over a year now and continues to gain momentum in all facets of the digital landscape. In short, viewability is here to stay. Our stance at Xaxis is that an ad that is not seen provides zero value to our clients. The purpose of this blog is to give insight into a few fundamental aspects of viewability that I’ve learned and embraced as an automated trader, regardless of the media channel.
Most important to remember is that viewability is a behavior-based measurement. It is primarily about education and spreading knowledge to allow for more strategic optimizations and to manage client expectations.
To put this behavioral concept into a use case that we can actually relate to, let’s consider the way a lot of people browse online these days: When I sit down at my desk at the start of the day and want to do a little reading on AdExchanger, I see so many interesting articles. I often will open them in different tabs without leaving the AdExchanger homepage. Then, I’ll go to my first article, see a great big banner at the top of the page (completely in-view), and before I realize it, 9:30 a.m. hits. I run off to meetings and sadly, close all the other tabs before even going into them. Although I know each additional tab has an ad at the top of the page, because I closed the tabs without looking at them, all of those ads will be considered out of view. I think many can relate to these behaviors, which illustrates the need to truly understand the behavioral aspect of viewability.
At Xaxis, we believe strongly that viewability is a standard, not a KPI. It is important that we ensure that our clients only pay for impressions that are seen, which is why a viewable CPM (vCPM) pricing model [JW1] is our recommended and preferred solution.
Viewability is here, it is real. So, what are Automated Traders doing about it? The quick and simple answer is testing, testing and more testing. For a couple months now we have been collecting samplings across our display delivery. Through technology partners, we are able to gather data around multiple data points as it relates to viewability and time in-view. We are looking at exchanges, domains, operating systems, browsers, geos, etc. These tests will also include insights around the effectiveness of pre-bid solutions, how various targeting elements impact viewability and bidding strategies, as well as working closely with the publisher team to show how effective our own direct inventory is within the viewable world.
This is only the beginning, and you will be hearing plenty more on viewability throughout our industry. Education is key and there’s plenty more to learn.