Why Publishers Should Be Thinking About Viewability — And What They Should Be Thinking About
Viewability is an increasingly important term in the media industry. It is an advertising metric that attempts to track only impressions that readers actually see. Measuring impressions alone does not indicate that a reader scrolled down the page see a particular ad. Understandably, more and more advertisers are beginning to expect viewability metrics before they partner with a publisher. In the following Q&A Denise Colella, former CEO of Maxifier -- an ad performance optimizer for publishers and advertisers -- explains why publishers need to pay attention to this metric and how they can integrate it into their analytics.
Why should publishers be thinking about viewability?
The key reason viewability needs to be thought about and planned for is that advertisers are beginning to demand it. All the work that's been going on in the United States with the IAB, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) to define standards means the industry currency is now shifting from the served impression to the viewable impression. For years brand advertisers have been demanding metrics relevant to their needs rather than the traditional performance measures they have been offered, and viewability represents an important step in that direction. It also makes digital more relevant to brands and helps move their perception away from it simply being a direct response vehicle. Attracting more brand budgets online can only be good for all sides of the digital industry.
Viewability is no longer a simple matter of whether or not you can accommodate the request. Publishers need to be thinking about a host of things, most importantly, which viewability vendors will be their preferred partners -- a difficult decision with so many available and accredited. While just a year ago having one partner was sufficient, the tide has shifted such that publishers have to accommodate numbers provided by the buyer's chosen vendor, creating the need to accommodate multiple vendors in their stack. We have been in conversations with publishers who are testing north of 10 vendors! They also need to be looking at how they can action the learnings from the viewability reports to make the data a valuable asset.