Digital video series: How will proposed viewability standards affect the digital video advertising industry?

How will proposed viewability standards affect the digital advertising industry?

The Drum catches up with a cross-section of the online video industry to discuss the evolution of online video advertising.

As part of The Drum’s latest digital media supplement, focused on the opportunities of online video, we are publishing a series of articles exploring a range of topics, from how to produce effective branded content to how online video compares with TV.The supplement was published on Friday 25 October.In today's article, we ask: How will proposed viewability standards affect the digital advertising industry?Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes, IABThe IAB has been a key stakeholder in debating viewability but the proposed standards being mooted and discussed are being done so by stakeholders from across the industry. In the UK the IAB has setup a similar cross-industry group to that already established in the US, including representative members from agencies, advertisers, media owners, publishers and ad tech companies.Viewability will no doubt have a significant impact in changing the way advertising is measured and perhaps delivered but we need to ensure that a sledgehammer approach is not used. The pros and cons must be properly balanced and a pragmatic approach adopted. Nick Reid, UK managing director, TubeMogul A standard for video viewability is badly needed. Currently, viewability is a morass of different proprietary solutions, leading to confusion around something as simple as whether a viewer actually watched an ad. This is why when we developed our own technology, we made it open source and created a consortium of 20 like-minded companies – including Nielsen and TRUSTe – that wanted to get the industry closer to a standard.One important aspect of this debate to note is that the standard should be different from display; video is a completely a distinct medium and the technology hurdles are much different.Leon Siotis, director, media and publisher services, BrightRollViewability will become another currency/metric that online advertising gets traded on, in the same way CTRs (click-through rates) and VTRs (view-through rates) are currently used. There will be an initial shake out as the bad actors are exposed, but in the long run the increased transparency and assurance that people are actually seeing your ad will be another reason why brands choose to spend their money in digital as opposed to other mediums.Brian Fitzpatrick, managing director Europe, Adap.tvViewability should not have the prominence that it is currently given by the industry. Very simply, if an ad cannot be seen, it has no value and should not be paid for. Potentially we could see advertisers refuse to pay unless the publisher can prove their ad has been seen.Phil Macauley, EU managing director, QuantcastWe are totally behind standards around viewability. Having them ratified by a trade body like the IAB just shows maturity of the video market. If an ad cannot be seen, clearly it cannot influence the consumer. This makes ad “viewability” a critical issue for the digital advertising industry, an industry where accountability and the ability to optimise effectively are paramount.Gavin Morgan, VP business development, Europe, InnovidOnce defined, the viewability standards should lead to a more transparent and accountable marketplace, resulting in more value for advertisers and visibility to place their ads on quality content/sites with real user engagement. There will also be more value for publishers – who are able to differentiate their offering in the market. This should also lead to increased confidence in the online video market for advertisers and agencies which we hope will lead to further investment in the space.Suranga Chandratillake, founder and chief strategy officer, BlinkxIt won’t have a dramatic effect on the industry, all it will do is align standards. What’s really interesting will be how the consumer digests data and interacts with content in the future.The previous instalment of The Drum's digital video series explored the role of social in interactive video advertising.Video image courtesy of Shutterstock

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