Viewability: The real truth

Blog | 27 Apr, 2017

The goal of programmatic display is for each individual impression to be serving the right message to the right person at the right time. What is the use of this however, if the ad is not viewable to the user?

Since ‘viewability’ started to become a popular buzzword in the industry, two key issues are holding us back from standardisation.

Firstly, measurement differs between viewability technologies meaning results can vary hugely depending on who you’re working with. Secondly, there is dispute as to what defines an ad as ‘viewable’. The IAB defines an ad as viewable if 50% of the ad is in view for more than one second, however there have been recent suggestions that 10 seconds should be the new standard. What is often forgotten is that viewability is not synonymous with an ad being seen, in the same way that one may walk past a large OOH billboard and not see it if they’re looking at their mobile phone. Until we can unify on the measurement and definition, standardisation of viewability will be very difficult, if not impossible.

Whilst the industry continues to develop the measurement of viewability, Jellyfish keep brand safety and viewability at the core of their programmatic display team. Adloox viewability and fraud technology is employed as standard across our campaigns. Campaigns are also run across a strict whitelist which has been 100% manually checked for site quality e.g. ad clutter.  In addition to the current definition and measurement of viewability, we believe that share of voice and fraudulent activity (e.g. non-human traffic) should be included. This will then allow us to more confidently say that our ad has been seen and acknowledged by a human user.

As an agency, Jellyfish are proud of their viewability performance but recognise that whilst viewability is an important metric, it shouldn’t be narrowly focused on when judging the performance of a programmatic display campaign. Brands often strive for a high viewability percentage however this often comes with a hefty CPM attached. As demonstrated in Figure 1, focusing solely on viewability can be inefficient. Viewability on its own doesn’t mean anything without considering reach and efficiency, namely the viewable CPM.

Our encompassed approach at Jellyfish for viewability that includes fraud and SOV should be the approach that all advertisers and media agencies should adopt. This married with the standardisation of measurement will clean up the programmatic industry.

Want to learn more about optimising effectively towards viewability? Contact us now.

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