Mobile has complicated viewability, according to the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) recently-completed third phase of reconciliation testing.
With data from campaigns encompassing nearly 4 billion impressions, the test found that only 63 percent of campaigns had an acceptable difference (less than 10 percent) between vendors’ viewable impression counts. Of those campaigns with the larger discrepancies, which have increased from the previous testing phases, 54 percent were a result of the differing treatments of mobile viewable impressions in vendors’ reporting.
Adam Meshekow, executive vice president of product strategy and national sales for location-based marketing solution SITO Mobile, says part of the disparity comes down to the novelty of mobile. It’s not quite established as a marketing entity, so there is a lack of standardization at the moment, as well as a lack of viewability products.
“[Integral Ad Science and Double Verify] are both good products; however, they’re fairly new to the mobile space and they’re not built specifically for mobile,” he says. “To be transparent in mobile is a different beast. Viewability in mobile is also a different beast because there are different types of ad unit sizes.”
While some mobile ad units, such as the adhesion unit at the bottom of the screen, are always visible, users don’t necessarily see an in-line 300×250 ad when the page launches.
“In-app, your viewability is always very close to 100 percent because it’s always in view. In mobile web, it’s not always in view,” Meshekow continues, adding that the viewability standard for mobile websites is about 60 percent. “When media buyers buy mobile, it’s typically just one line item and depending on what type of strategy they’re using will depend on the inventory source.”
Of the remaining differences, 28 percent were attributed to vendors treating multi-ad units in different fashions for measurement and reporting purposes. Nearly all of the rest were a result of vendors measuring ad traffic served in a campaign by ad servers other than themselves and differences in the application of ad verification processes.
“Every ad should have the opportunity to be seen,” said the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in a statement yesterday. “Clearly, the MRC analysis demonstrates the need to move faster in solving for the root causes of measurement disparity and inadequacies. The IAB has maintained that 2015 is the year of transition. As long as we continue to make progress in isolating the causes of measurement inconsistency and remedying them, thus achieving accurate measurement, we believe that 2016 will be the year of even greater viewability and measurability.”