The State of Viewability

An ad that is not seen by a human has no value. And when it comes to the importance of viewability, mobile plays a big role in how we buy and optimize media today.

But, the Media Ratings Council (MRC) has yet to provide definitive guidance on whether mobile inventory will have separate and unique Viewability standards. However, since mobile remains so important, we need to understand current capabilities and continue to test in the meantime.

While verifying viewability on a desktop has become universally available, mobile viewability is more complex. Last year, the MRC stated that mobile should employ the same standards as desktop—specifically 50% of pixels need to be in view for one second for display and two seconds for video.

So, what’s the issue?

Mobile apps are built to conform to the SDKs of various vendors and platforms so there is no consistent standard for measuring viewability of ads.

In addition, mobile web environments can cause issues because they are often experienced within an app shell that controls the overlying technology.  Different browsers can cause inconsistencies as well.  Even when the tracking technologies do work, they can end up draining mobile devices, wearing down batteries and choking processors — and hurting the user experience — which ultimately leads to installation of more ad blockers on those devices.

The good news is that the MRC has brought together a team of leading experts and organizations to overcome the challenges so we can increase liquidity in the market and give all sides assurance that ads will be served and seen.

At Xaxis, we stand by viewability as a core principle. We price and transact on viewability and hold ourselves to a level above the industry status quo by including a 100% viewability standard and by partnering with the leading viewability companies to tackle measurement, reporting, filtering of inventory, etc. We have seen top publishers re-design sites to make sure they’re viewable, often removing below-the-fold supply entirely. For mobile, we recommend full-screen or large format advertisements and full-screen for video, leading to a higher assurance that the ads are seen.

With viewability, everyone wins. Publishers are assured their ads are in view and realize the revenue they expect. Marketers can see a large sales lift by increasing verified viewability rates. All of which to say that verified viewability around an industry standard mean assurance dollars won’t be wasted, better results are inevitable for all, and reputable players in the space can be better identified and highlighted.