AppNexus takes on Google and Facebook with tool that offers '100% viewable buying'

AppNexus’ latest feature will let buyers use viewability as a given outcome

AppNexus is looking to take on the Facebook-Google 'duopoly' with a tool it has claimed will give advertisers “100% viewable buying at scale”.

The product, dubbed ‘guaranteed views’ will give brands the chance to purchase only ads that they classify as 'viewable' against their own standards across the web, offering a solution to the typically complex process brands and agencies often have to go through when setting up threshold viewability targeting online.

Allowing clients to target “the entire open internet” AppNexus’ latest feature will let buyers use viewability as a given outcome. The company didn’t reveal which buyers had been testing the guaranteed views, but said clients “typically” see improvement in cost-per-view, unique reach, click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC).

AppNexus, which has been vocal about the "considerable strain" it believes to have been placed on the industry through the dominance of the duopoly, said it believes this fresh tool "will help reverse the disproportionate flow of advertising dollars going to walled gardens like Google and Facebook.”

Viren Tellis, senior director, marketplace management, AppNexus claimed a point of difference for guaranteed views was that instead of layering multiple optimization types, "buyers can assume viewability is a given" and focus on achieving the performance KPIs advertisers care about.

While the move from adtech firm doesn't guarantee buyers 100% in-view ads; instead giving them the option to purchase their inventory only against their measurement standards, it comes amid ongoing discussion between advertisers about what exactly that standard should be.

Just months ago, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (Isba) launched a 100% viewability standard in the UK, calling for brands to be given the facility to buy digital display ads in 100% view.

Key industry figures are split on what exactly the viewability standard should be. Unilever's top marketer Keith Weed, for instance, subscribes to the 100% view. Others like rival Procter and Gamble (P&G) believe in the standard set by US-based body the Media Ratings Council (MRC) that ads should be at least 50% in view.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, in the UK alone almost £600m per-year is believed to be wasted on non-viewable ads, with 63% of members saying they are now only investing in viewable impressions which meet industry standards.

Facebook currently offers buyers 100% viewability on some products in tandem with Moat. Google, meanwhile, lets advertisers, agencies and publishers using its active view product to see custom metrics that allow them to go beyond transacting on the Media Ratings Council (MRC) defined industry standard for viewability (which is 50%).

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