MRC Approves Transaction on Viewable Impressions for Video Ads

The Media Rating Council (MRC) – the industry association that audits and accredits media measurement services – has finalized its definition of a viewable video ad, and is allowing marketers to transact based on its Viewable Impression Guidelines.

In March of this year, the MRC lifted its Viewable Impression Advisory for display advertising, which enabled marketers to purchase display ads based on new viewability metrics. However, at the time, it suggested a gating period of an additional 90 days before marketers started transacting on viewable impressions for online video ads.

With the expiration of that gating period today, the MRC has given the green light to transact on video viewability.

This is a welcome move for marketers. “Significant progress has been made on transacting upon viewable impressions for display [ads], and it is great news that we are now taking this more seriously for video [ads],” says Alex Loeffler, chief operating officer (COO) of Adconion Direct, a global provider of cross-channel advertising solutions.

The MRC’s guidelines for viewable impressions for video ads require that 50 percent of pixels must be in the viewable portion of an Internet browser for at least two continuous seconds.

This requirement helps advertisers avoid the issue of paying for ads that are not seen. It also provides vendors with an opportunity to innovate around viewability, says Loeffler.

But at the same time, the changes may bring about some challenges for advertisers. “We will all see demand for viewable impressions rise, which in some cases may impact pricing,” Loeffler notes.

The MRC encourages marketers to work with accredited vendors to improve viewability scores, which include Alenty, Sizmek, RealVu, comScore vCE, and Google Active View. Loeffler agrees that marketers need to evaluate and improve their current viewability scores with trusted vendor partners.

“Collaborating with vendors on how to improve viewability scores is an essential next step, as the MRC guidelines around video viewability become more defined. Vendors will improve their technology stack as more testing is done throughout the year,” he says.

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