Everything you need to know about programmatic series featuring extracts from our co-authored guide with ISBA - This extract is taken from Vol Three ... Download the full guides here.
Viewability has been on the radar for a couple of years and is now a major talking point. The definition of a viewable impression was set in 2014 by cross industry body, JICWEBS. This stated that at least 50% of an ad’s pixels should be in view for at least one second for it to be considered viewable. However, this was only intended to be a threshold, with advertisers able to set their own viewability target based on their advertising objectives.
In 2013, Comscore research showed only 46% of impressions in an average campaign met the minimum viewability threshold. This number has increased in recent years but currently only 1 in 2 adverts served are viewable. With many advertisers voicing their discontent at low viewability rates, IAB US suggested a target of 70% of viewable impressions in any campaign.
There are two ways to approach viewability. Although bidding on adverts with a high probability of being viewable should deliver better performance, they also tend to be more expensive. Calls for 100% viewability do not take the balance between price and value into consideration.
Advertisers with a cost per acquisition (CPA) target may struggle by bidding on more expensive inventory that maximises viewability. Also, brand marketers may find they can achieve larger numbers of viewable impressions in a campaign at the expense of the overall percentage viewability.
Viewability is still important, but it is not as straightforward as it appears. Viewability is a valuable measure of quality for brand advertisers, allowing them to better optimise campaigns. For performance advertisers it is the viewability of converting impressions that is important. A viewable CPA (vCPA) target discourages buying poor inventory and helps attribute conversions to adverts that were actually seen.