According to advertisers, measurement is a leading challenge to the growth of over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) advertising. Buyers want the measurement capabilities they’ve come to expect for desktop and mobile to be available for OTT and CTV. One such measurement and the focus of this blog post is viewability.
Why does viewability matter?
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? The origin of this question goes back to George Berkeley in the eighteenth century, and opinions have been argued ever since. I’m not a philosopher, so I’m choosing to stay out of that debate. However, to put an ad tech spin on Berkeley’s quandary: if a video advertisement plays, but is not viewed, does it have an impact? I’m willing to throw my hat in the ring and answer no to this question. If an advertisement isn’t viewed, it does not stand a chance at achieving the advertiser’s desired impact.
That’s where viewability measurement comes in. Viewability measurement allows advertisers to understand if their ad had the chance to be viewed. Viewability measurement has its origins in desktop, where viewability vendors can detect whether or not an ad had the opportunity to be seen based on its position on the web page. For example, an ad at the bottom of a website would not be considered viewable if the user doesn’t scroll down to that part of the web page. Ever since viewability measurement was first introduced for desktop, and later mobile app inventory, it has been a popular KPI used to measure the effectiveness of advertisers’ digital ad campaigns.
Viewability measurement for OTT and CTV environments
Historically, viewability measurement hasn’t been possible on OTT/CTV inventory. These environments don’t support VPAID, a requirement for most 3rd party verification vendors to execute viewability measurement. Enter Oracle’s Moat viewability pixel, which now offers a method to measure viewability on OTT and CTV inventory. It relies on the Media Ratings Council’s definition of viewability, which states that a video ad is viewable when at least 50% of the video advertisement is visible on the screen for at least 2 seconds. Support for Moat’s OTT/CTV pixel is device-specific, but works with most major OTT/CTV devices (Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, etc.).
As of July 2019, SpotX runs Oracle’s Moat viewability pixel on OTT and CTV inventory, providing publishers and buyers access to post-campaign viewability reporting. The introduction of viewability measurement on OTT and CTV inventory is a step forward in the effort to achieve standard measurement and targeting capabilities across all digital inventory.
To learn more about video advertising trends, including predictions on what’s to come for OTT and CTV, check out our 2019 Video Advertising Trends research paper.