Approaching 2018, viewability continues to be one of the most discussed digital advertising topics of the year, and rightfully so. Making viewable ads the standard currency that advertisers and publishers transact on seems like a mission everyone could theoretically agree on.
Advertisers throughout history have paid to have their ads displayed, whether we are talking about billboards or TV, but ultimately the end goal is for them to be seen. If an ad has 0% chance of being seen, why should an advertiser pay for it? That’s why back in 2014, SpotX began its relationship with Oracle’s Moat, a leading attention measurement platform; we wanted to measure viewability and performance metrics across inventory sold through our own platform. In 2015, we expanded our efforts to offer viewability targeting off of those metrics.
Now, we’re extending this functionality to mobile. On October 5th, SpotX released new functionality to provide built-in Moat viewability support to our mobile SDKs. With this new support, publishers integrated with the latest versions of the SpotX iOS or Android SDK automatically have the ability to measure viewability for their iOS or Android in-app inventory. Likewise, DSPs can now receive viewability verification directly in their Oracle’s Moat dashboard.
As viewability measurement continues to evolve, we thought it would be worthwhile to sit down with viewability expert Jay Pinho, Principal Product Manager at Oracle’s Moat, to pick his brain on current trends in the industry and make predictions for what’s in store for the future.
Q: SpotX implemented viewability measurement with Oracle’s Moat back in 2014, how has this offering evolved in the last 3 years?
A: Viewability has become a watchword for marketers, publishers, and platforms over the last few years. Throughout this period, we’ve made great strides in improving our measurement methodology. This has been made possible both by new browser functionality and APIs that have drastically improved the efficiency and speed of viewability measurement, as well as by working with our clients and partners to identify and address measurement edge cases in order to ensure we’re measuring everywhere possible.
Q: How does viewability measurement work?
A: It varies slightly by environment, but generally speaking, viewability measurement relies on page geometry techniques in which the ad unit’s coordinates are compared to those of the viewport to determine whether it is in-view. Depending on the browser and device, dedicated browser APIs may also be available to assist in measurement.
Q: What are the differences between viewability measurement in a web environment versus an in-app environment?
A: Reliable and accredited viewability measurement in-app requires the presence of a measurement SDK. This is because, unlike in a web scenario, the ad unit in a mobile app is situated within a native (non-web) environment that prevents the ad unit’s position within the viewport from being measured accurately without access to the native code.
Q: How do you anticipate the IAB’s open source viewability SDK and the new VAST 4.0 viewability spec will impact the industry?
The VAST 4.0 viewability spec is a marked improvement from the status quo in a variety of ways. One of the most important improvements is that the verification node will allow ad servers and brands to obtain viewability measurement without introducing a single point of failure in the ad-serving process: with VAST 4.0, measurement is now separated from the ad-serving chain.
Q: What does the future hold for viewability for in-app environments, particularly for CTV?
A: Oracle’s Moat is proud to measure on a variety of OTT/CTV platforms and looks forward to expanding our capabilities to more platforms in the future. Generally speaking, viewability rates on these platforms are higher than their counterparts on open web, as CTV/OTT video players are often designed to play only when “above the fold” and fully viewable.
About the Author:
Jay Pinho is Principal Product Manager at Oracle’s Moat. Jay works closely with enterprise clients in order to drive ROI by accurately and holistically measuring attention to advertising across platforms, environments, and formats.